Food News

What's in a Name: Wayback Burgers or the Way Back?

Delaware-based Jake's Hamburgers has changed its name twice in its 25-year history; once in 2010 to Jake's Wayback Burgers and again in 2014 to simply Wayback Burgers. Along the way, the eatery has expanded from a single burger shack to a chain with more than 100 locations — including a couple in Argentina and Saudi Arabia. Now Wayback Burgers is poised to enter the Denver burger fray, with a franchise slated for a summer opening at 5098 South Federal Boulevard.

But there's another establishment with a similar name that's supposed to open even sooner: The Way Back is slated to open this spring on West 38th Avenue, in the former home of the Bark Bar. This Way Back will be a cocktail bar and restaurant from Chad Michael George, who has built a reputation for slinging drinks at Williams & Graham, and his partners Kade Gianinetti and Jared Schwartz, who have both done time at Linger and have recently ferried a couple of food trucks — American Grind and State Fare — across the Denver street-food scene.

While there's a world of difference between a national burger chain notorious for its "triple-triple" (a nine-patty cheeseburger) and a locally owned craft-cocktail eatery, things have a way of going sideways quickly when it comes to names — just look at the recent fracas between Boulder-based The Kitchen and The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck. We're also waiting for the dust to settle to see if any blows have fallen between Lakewood sports bar the Rusty Bucket Bar and Grill and Ohio interloper Rusty Bucket Restaurant and Tavern, which plans to set up shop in Lower Highland.
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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation