Smashburger Owners Win DIA Brewery Deal but Lose Live Basil Locations

Consumer Concept Group, which founded Smashburger in Denver in 2007, got a big win last week when a Denver City Council committee approved the proposal that CCG and partners Tivoli Brewing and Midfield Concession Enterprises had submitted to open a restaurant/brewery at the Westin at Denver International Airport, as well as gourmet Smashburger outposts on the B and C concourses and a coffee shop by the new transportation center. The full Denver City Council will vote on the contract later this month.

The CCG bid was chosen over four competitors that centered on either Wynkoop Brewing, Great Divide, Oskar Blues or Boulder Beer, all breweries with much longer track records than Tivoli Brewing, which just started brewing beer a few months ago. And the restaurant partners that had signed on with those competing bidders also have impressive pedigrees, since they range from Justin Cucci (Root Down) to Troy Guard, who weighed in on his Facebook page with this 

Are u kidding me ? They put smashburger in DIA over: Juan's Highland Tap, Jean Phillips's Park Burger, TAG Burger, Frank Schultz Tavern ... And tom's Urban over restaurant guys like Justin Cucci, Justin Brunson and even me.

 The winning bid calls for Tivoli to operate the brewery portion of Tom’s Urban Kitchen and Brewery, a new concept coming from CCG, which opened Tom’s Urban 24/7 at the edge of Larimer Square in 2012. Tom’s is named for Tom Ryan, the man behind Smashburger, but Tom’s 24/7 wasn’t quite such a smash; the spot was retooled as Tom’s Urban, more of a restaurant than a diner, with scaled-back hours, before the idea was exported to Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

And another CCG concept just took a hit: The group’s Live Basil Pizza, a fast-casual chain started in 2013 in Denver, closed several of its locations last month; outposts remain in Lakewood, at Stapleton and at L.A. LIVE’s Sports and Entertainment District, which also has a Tom’s Urban.

CCG issued this statement about the Colorado closures: “As an incubator concept company, we are constantly innovating our portfolio of brands and accelerating the growth of those brands and locations that are prospering. Our Tom’s Urban brand is really resonating with guests and developers, so we have decided to focus our resources on growing this brand right now. While we did close the Live Basil Pizza locations in Denver, the Los Angeles location will continue to serve our freshly made pizzas and will remain open. We truly thank the Denver community for their continued support.”

And no doubt hopes that same community will support Tom’s Urban Kitchen and Brewery at DIA.

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