Cafe Society

Smashburger Tabor Center opening set back ... because of 13 inches

Smashburger, the homegrown burger chain that's multiplying faster than Mickey D's, was set to beef up the Tabor Center back in early July, but a case of inaccurate measurements -- 13 inches to be exact -- smashed the opening date, which is now slated for the third or fourth week in September, according to Smashburger's head honcho, Dave Prokupek.

Apparently, Mellow Mushroom, which sits next door to Smashburger and just opened two days ago, encroached upon Smashburger's space by just over a foot, which may not sound like a lot, but in a 2,000-square-foot space, every inch counts. But more important, the space invasion required Prokupek to resubmit plans to the city for re-approval. And like everything else that has anything to do with the City of Denver, that takes time. "Someone obviously didn't take accurate measurements -- I really don't know who's responsible -- but the end result is that we went in to start construction and had to wait," explains Prokupek.

Waiting, of course, gives Prokupek time to think -- specifically about how the Tabor Center Smashburger might be different from its clones. Take alcohol, for example. "We're looking to see if there's an expanded way to serve alcohol and add some fun drinks, like Häagen-Dazs shakes spiked with rum," says Prokupek, adding that a shot after work on a downtown Denver patio -- a perk that Smashburger will have -- isn't such a bad way to wrap up the day.

There could be some changes to the menu, too. "We're trying some new things out in other markets to see what tests well," including chicken sandwiches, new salads and a quarter-pound burger in Sacramento, California, reveals Prokupek, who also told me that the company plans to unleash an additional 30 locations throughout the country by the end of the year. "We're testing sizes and flavors, adding breadth to our menus and continuing to grow," he says.

Here's to better measurements in the future.

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Lori Midson
Contact: Lori Midson