Denver's two Steak 'n Shake stores are officially closed -- judge's orders

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J. Wohletz
The former Centennial Steak 'n Shake.
Denver's two embattled Steak 'n Shake locations -- at 3502 River Point Parkway in Sheridan and 8271 South Quebec Street in Centennial -- were both shuttered on Friday after a bond filed by the chain in federal court activated an injunction forcing the locally-owned franchise restaurants to cease using the Steak 'n Shake name...and everything else involved with the hamburger chain.

After my visit to the Centennial Steak 'n Shake, I don't blame the company for being concerned about protecting its name -- the food was bad and the service was worse.

See also:-At Colorado's first Steak 'n Shake, a lawsuit may be the least of the problems

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J. Wohletz
Say g'bye to the lousy burgers.
Local franchise owners Larry, Katherine and Chris Baerns have been ordered to stop running the restaurants as Steak 'n Shakes and to strip all identifying markers from the stores -- including new paintjobs. The company had voided the franchise agreement with the Baernses in June and then sued the franchisees in July, alleging that their stores overcharged customers, strayed from national pricing requirements and ignoring advertising promotions.

The Baernses's side of the story is that the attempt by corporate to terminate the franchise agreement is a retaliatory reaction against the Denver franchise owners for "daring to raise questions about the fairness of the corporate policies." They say they should be able to set their own menu prices due to higher-than-average food costs here in Denver compared to other parts of the country, and they claim their prices and menus had been approved by corporate. They also claim that Steak 'n Shake corporate misrepresented how much money they could make from their restaurants.

While all those legal fights move through the courts, last week a judge approved the national chain's request for an injunction to stop the Baernses from running Steak 'n Shake restaurants.

Steak 'n Shake was founded in Illinois in 1934 by Gus Belt, and gained popularity because of Belt's hand-dipped shakes and steakburgers, freshly-ground from T-bone, sirloin and round steaks. Today the chain is headquartered in Indiana and its 508 restaurants -- including 94 franchised locations -- are concentrated in the Midwest and Southern U.S.

I've been a huge fan of Steak 'n Shake since I was a sprout, growing up in the Midwest and chowing down fat, melty-cheese capped burgers and slurping on thick, hand-dipped shakes. After my abysmal meal at the Centennial store, where I was greeted by a dirty host stand and dining room, then after a very long wait got about half my order, including wilted shakes and a desiccated burger, I'm not at all inclined to feel bad about the Denver stores being canned. If operators can't provide basic good food and service to paying customers, then they have no business running restaurants, chain or otherwise.

This may not be the end of Steak 'n Shake restaurants in the Mile High City forever, but as of right now, there's nothing shaking in Denver.



Location Info

Steak 'n Shake

3502 River Point Pkwy, Sheridan, CO

Category: Restaurant

Steak 'n Shake

8271 S. Quebec St., Centennial, CO

Category: Restaurant


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33 comments
danshargel
danshargel

Good riddance.  Management was horrible.  I forget which location it was but the  manager of one of them threatened to call the police on my friend that was there who complained about the service.  Feel bad for the employees who worked hard and lost their jobs. But the management can suck it.  

Brian Shurette
Brian Shurette

Dear Westword, can you tell us when you actually plan to write a story that anyone cares about?

Eric Smiles
Eric Smiles

Will you tell us next when the trash guys come?

GFTW
GFTW

Somehow this is all JennInFurr's fault. But she seems to know what's best of Taco Bell and all other fastfood restaurants -- have the Barneses hire you as a consultant! Hmm, I bet that was all part of JennInFurr's plan, with her review trashing S&S.....

Che Harness
Che Harness

The burgers were not bad, but the fries were always old and cold and the Sheridan store was slow. They would have died before long anyway.

Louisifer dd
Louisifer dd

lame...leave steak adventure alone tho!!!

Randolph Scott
Randolph Scott

Back when I lived in Indiana (where there's one of these places on just about every other block), I tried one one of their burgers. Nothing special. This place is WAY overrated.

Jennipher Cunningham
Jennipher Cunningham

The service was so bad I walked out of this place- never have been back to try the dang food. Good riddance.

MK Podschweit
MK Podschweit

Come to Colorado Springs.. We still have ours.

Tiffany Rice
Tiffany Rice

why does this story keep popping up in my feed. who gives a shit?

Angela Taylor
Angela Taylor

I have only been to the Quebec location. The service there was completely horrible, and the food was definitely not worth waiting for. A huge disappointment.

Julie Miller
Julie Miller

No loss, gross food, way too expensive for what you got. However I do feel for those who lost their jobs.

Geoff Knox
Geoff Knox

Soon to be replaced by vampire themed strip club Stake and Shake.

Steph Bailey
Steph Bailey

Maybe they can turn the buildings into Dunkin Donuts :D

Kristen Elizabeth
Kristen Elizabeth

I wish all the ones here in St. Louis would close. Frickin' the most disgusting food ever!!!

kimmiscottmarsden
kimmiscottmarsden

I agree..sucks for those who lost their job..my daughter's been looking for a job for months..I thought the food at the one on Sheridan was delish..but the wait for it was pretty long..

Kyle Rohrer
Kyle Rohrer

A single tear trickles down Brendan Cronin 's face...

Joe Trujillo
Joe Trujillo

I've had Steak 'n Shake all over the country, and I thought it was reasonably priced. The priciest visit was in Vegas at South Pointe Casino. Least expensive, Topeka KS.

Karye Ann
Karye Ann

To bad for the people who lost their jobs because of this though.

Bradley Langston
Bradley Langston

They knew the rules going into a franchise agreement and then didn't want to play by them? Too Bad.

April Dawne
April Dawne

horrible, fake-ass food. no loss for you Denver folks.

Roger Lynn
Roger Lynn

No loss... service was horrible and food was eh...

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