Shortly after White Fence Farm marked its fortieth anniversary at 6263 West Jewell Avenue in Lakewood, Craig Caldwell and Tom Piercy bought the fried-chicken farm from its original owner, Charlie Wilson, in late 2014. They not only wanted to keep the landmark restaurant going, but also to expand the concept to takeout spots. The idea just didn't fly, though, and the last of the takeout spots recently closed in Capitol Hill. Fried-chicken fans weren't surprised. Says Harold:
We were downtown one evening and tried it. I don't know where they got that chicken, but it was the smallest half chicken I've ever seen in my life.
I still like the original.
Not happy with the big restaurant in Lakewood. Changed hands and the atmosphere and inside changed; food doesn't seem to taste as good. Last time I went, a goat was roaming around the property near Jewell. I mentioned it to a lady at the desk in the lobby and she said, yeah, it happens all the time. I've been going there for years and I never saw that before. Also, no horse and buggy rides; grandchildren were disappointed. No one keeping kids off the slide while musicians were performing and parents not caring enough to keep their children off the slide and stage. Very disappointed, and probably won't go back after many years of good memories made there.
Why eat there when there are so many other fantastic choices in the Denver area?
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Opening White Fence takeout spots was a challenge; it was hard to make the legendary fritters outside of the home restaurant, for example. Still, the owners tried, opening satellite locations in rapid succession, starting with the first in Green Valley Ranch. Outposts in Arvada and Westminster, on Colorado Boulevard and in Denver's hip Capitol Hill neighborhood soon followed.
Compact versions also sprang up at the Pepsi Center and Elitch Gardens. While the Pepsi Center counter is still in business, and Elitch's should be serving chicken again when the amusement park opens this spring, the other outposts are gone. The original is still attracting crowds, though.
What do you think of White Fence Farm? Who serves your favorite fried chicken in Denver? Post a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org.