"This is taking fucking forever!"
Those are the words that tumbled out of Biker Jim's mouth thirty minutes ago, when he called to give me an update on the new brick-and-mortar joint he's opening at 2148 Larimer Street -- a joint that was initially slated to open last month. "I'm calling myself naive, but I'm also the kind of guy who thinks that he can rebuild a Volkswagen engine in an hour and a half," jokes Jim. "I thought the design phase would take four to six weeks, but it took four months, and now my general contractor and architect are fielding requests from the city."
Which begs the question: When will the 1,900-square-foot build-out fling the doors open and start slinging elk and reindeer sausages, or deep-fried eggs, which Jim threatened to do the last time we spoke about his deep-fryer?
"I'm hoping that we can start breaking ground in a few weeks, and that we'll have construction done by January. Then we'll air the stink out of the place, have some soft openings and get the doors open in February," Jim tells me.
And then? And then? Jim has big plans -- really BIG. He's partnered with Harry Blazer -- he of the Atlanta-based Harry's Farmers Market fame; he who sold the aforementioned Harry's Farmers Market company to Whole Foods for $35 million in 2001; he who opened (and sold) Blazer's Street Market in Aurora, which subsequently shuttered in October (the closure was said to be temporary, but a for sale sign in the parking lot tells a different story) -- to take Biker Jim's national.
And then international.
And then to the moon.
The plan, explains Jim, is to roll out three different Biker Jim concepts: fast-casual, similar to the Larimer Street store; takeout joints with a walk-up window; and the hot dog carts, which have made Jim a legend in everyone's mind but his own. "Yeah, it's a crazy little plan, but Harry Blazer is an interesting cat, not to mention one of the pioneers of the 'green' grocery market, and if anyone can get this thing off the ground, it's him."
There's no concrete timeline for world domination, notes Jim, but he's hoping that it won't take quite as long as it has to get the Larimer Street sausage emporium up and running. "Let's get this restaurant open first and then see how it goes."
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.