^
Keep Westword Free
4

The Original Chubby Burger Drive-Inn Bites the Dust

The Original Chubby Burger Drive-Inn Bites the Dust
special to Westword

Another local landmark bit the dust yesterday, when the original Chubby Burger Drive-Inn was demolished.

Back in 1967, Stella Cordova was working as a cook at Chubby Burger at 1231 West 38th Avenue when its owner, Bill Gray, asked if she wanted to buy the place. Even though she had a big family and little money, she took him up on his offer, paying on the installment plan. She kept the Chubby's name but changed the menu, replacing the typical drive-in fare with her own green chile recipes and other Mexican dishes that soon became legendary around town.

Stella worked at Chubby's for forty years, until she was about to turn 100. And even when she was no longer stirring the pot in the kitchen, she would stop in almost every day, to check on whether the food was adhering to her standards and to chat with the regulars who'd line up in the tiny lobby to wait for their orders.

The Original Chubby Burger Drive-Inn Bites the Dust
Mark Antonation

After Stella passed away in 2009, her grandson Danny Cordova took over day-to-day responsibility for what was by then known as the "original" Chubby's (to distinguish it from eateries opened by other relatives, all sporting some variation on the menu and name). And he came up with the idea of building a brand-new Original Chubby's Burger Drive-Inn, an eatery with a dining room where fans could sit down and eat their smothered chile cheese fries, in the parking lot right behind the actual original.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

The new Chubby's opened in December, paving the way for the original Chubby's to be knocked down and replaced by a parking lot. But it will be business as usual at the new Original Chubby's Burger Drive-Inn, which opens today at 6 a.m.

Can't you already taste that green chile?

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.