Cafe Society

Zingers promises to bring University of Denver students everything they crave -- except alcohol

The New York food scene is renowned for all sorts of things, but green chile isn't one of them. That, as we all know, is a Colorado thing. But Dennis Krieger, a New Yorker, insists that his pork green chile, a family recipe, will put all others to shame. "I know it's an outrageous statement that's full of braggadocio, but you just wait," he promises. "Our green chile will arguably be the best you've ever had."

We'll find out in early August if Krieger's declaration is fact or fiction, because that's when he and his son, Max, a recent University of Denver Hotel and Restaurant Management grad, are unleashing Zingers, a fast-casual joint whose focus, says Krieger, is "chili and chicken in a really fun atmosphere."

The space, which is taking root in a former Quizno's location at 2075 South University, is steps away from the DU campus, a calculated move, according to Krieger, "We know the DU community and we relate well to that market," he says. But DU students, warns Krieger, are mostly too young to drink alcohol, so Zingers won't have a liquor license. "We analyzed it, and it came down to the fact that students shouldn't be drinking under the age of 21, so we're not serving any alcohol, at least not in this location," says Krieger, who plans to open several more stores throughout Colorado, some of which may or may not pour booze.

But while the DU spot won't get you buzzed, it will, pledges Krieger, offer "high quality, all scratch-made and delicious food served in a space with very hip decor" bedecked with rock & roll memorabilia, including custom-crafted tables encasing old album covers and concert ticket stubs and framed rock & roll relics mounted to the walls. In addition, notes Krieger, TVs will blast rock & roll music videos and just in case that doesn't unearth your inner Jerry Garcia, he'll also have a soundtrack belting out classic rock & roll from the '60s and '70s.

The menu, a mashup of chicken wings that fly from Buffalo to Thailand, chili (and green chile), salads, chicken sandwiches and chicken nuggets in a bag, is "all about taste and flavor," says Krieger. "You go to a sandwich place and they use the cheapest meats, which are tasteless and dead -- they're an insult to the palate -- whereas we're about fresh food with lots of flavor."

Cant wait to try that green chile.

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Lori Midson
Contact: Lori Midson