More than twenty years ago, Jimmy Seidel left behind the world of high finance and became his own boss — a sandwich boss. He opened his first Snarf's in Boulder in 1996, and has since grown the business to 22 outposts in Colorado, Texas and Missouri. But somewhere along the way, Seidel decided he needed a good, cheap burger as an occasional alternative to forearm-sized subs — and so Snarfburger was born.
The first Snarfburger, barely bigger than a Tuff Shed, sprang to life in 2013 at 2000 Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder. And for a long time, Seidel was content with that one location, serving fast, cheap eats in a surprisingly blue-collar style (especially for Boulder), with hot dogs, fried bologna sandwiches and soft-serve milkshakes bolstering the simple burger roster. In a nod to modern times, Snarfburger offers a veggie burger, but Seidel sticks to beef himself, adding a drop or two of the Snarf's brand hot chile oil to his sandwich.
Six years after the original Snarfburger opened, it's getting two Denver siblings. The first, at 2535 Federal Boulevard, opened earlier this month in a funky, mid-’60s building (most recently a Western Union) with a zigzag roof and just about enough room inside to eat your burger the way it was intended — with elbows out to keep the grease from running down your wrists. It's right next door to a new Snarf's that opened earlier this summer, so you can pull in and make a last-minute decision on subs or burgers.
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Also in the works is a third Snarfburger, at 1001 East 11th Avenue, which is taking over the former home of the Capitol Hill Snarf's that moved into the now-empty laundromat next door.
Snarf's isn't standing still, either. Its new counter in the A Concourse at Denver International Airport will be christened on August 21, along with a new Brother's BBQ and a Breckenridge Brewery bar.
As exciting as a new burger joint seems, even more exciting is the pricing. A single Snarfburger will set you back just $4.25 — and that includes two kinds of cheese and all the standard burger accoutrements. A double goes for $6.25, and you can add fancy things like a slice of fried bologna, bacon, avocado, mushrooms or Hatch green chiles for 50 cents to $1.50. And if you're going with picky kids, you can grab them a grilled cheese sandwich for a mere $1.25.
At one time, the corner of Federal Boulevard and West 25th Avenue was the center of a magic breakfast burrito triangle, where Santiago's, Jack-N-Grill and Araujo's fought a price war for the cheapest burritos. With Jack-N-Grill now gone, it's good to see Snarf's and Snarfburger drawing more diners back to the neighborhood.