First look: Bad Daddy's Burger Bar turns out mammoth burgers in Cherry Creek

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All photos by Lori Midson.

"Um, how the hell do you eat this thing?" I ask Adam Long, a former sous chef at the White House and the current culinary director and executive chef of Bad Daddy's Burger Bar. "You need to have a big mouth," he deadpans. Realizing that I'm not about ready to wrap my jaws around what must be the biggest burger I've ever seen in Denver, he offers up another suggestion: "Just use your hands to smash it down." That doesn't work either. No, this is a burger -- as are most of the burgers at Bad Daddy's, which opened today in Cherry Creek -- that requires a knife and a fork, not to mention a stomach the size of Richard Sherman's ego, or worse, the size of the hole in our hearts after Seattle's demolition of the Denver Broncos. These are burgers that, at least from a size perspective, dwarf all others.

See also: Bad Daddy's Burger Bar moving into former Tony P's in Cherry Creek

Founded by Frank Scibelli, who opened the company's first Bad Daddy's in North Carolina in 2007, the Denver store is a partnership between Scibelli and Boyd Hoback, the president and CEO of Denver-based Good Times. "We were looking for another growth concept -- we looked at dozens around the country -- and we really liked what we saw in Bad Daddy's, in particular that it's a chef-driven restaurant; it has management that wanted to stay involved; and because of its past success, we believe it has the ability to do a lot of sales," says Hoback, adding that he and Scibelli plan to add another ten to twelve Bad Daddy's along the Front Range, including one at 120th and I-25, which will open in July with a rooftop patio. The two also have plans to expand into Kansas and Arizona.

The 140-seat space, which also trumpets a thirty-seat patio (and garage doors that open to it), is firmly entrenched in '70s memorabilia: band posters (think Zeppelin, Hendrix and the Ramones), hubcaps, old vinyl, retro license plates, celebrity mugshots and bottle caps dominate the walls, which are also stamped with Colorado-centric tributes. "I'm a seventies kid, so there are definitely lots of aspects of that, in both our food and in the design, but we did some cool Colorado stuff, too, to give it some local flavor," says Scibelli. A fifteen-seat bar sits front and center, and the beer roster includes 24 brews on tap, seventeen of which are Colorado craft beers that have all won awards.

Back to the burgers: They're a blend of brisket and Colorado-raised beef and heaped a mile high with everything from American cheese (the kitchen makes it own) and buttermilk-fried bacon to chili, pastrami, fried eggs, shoestring fries and rosemary ham. Buffalo burgers, a black bean burger, a shrimp burger and sandwiches, including a chicken club, also grace the menu, as do fried pickles, huge chopped salads, hand-cut fries and buffalo wings. "We wanted to do a great burger joint, and this is definitely a place where you can get a decadent burger, but it's also a place where you can get a healthy salad," says Scibelli. "We don't take shortcuts, we're freakish about our ingredients, we use great products, and day in and day out, our execution is consistent," he concludes.

Earlier today, I was privy to a tour of the space, not to mention a romp through the menu. Here's a first look at Bad Daddy's, which is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday. Hope you're hungry.

Location Info

Bad Daddy's Burger Bar

240 Milwaukee St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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9 comments
apriljb1
apriljb1

Ever since I moved to the Denver area 3 years ago, I have been lucky to try at least one new restaurant each year at 5280 week. One that stands out though is Vesta Dipping Grill. I had wanted to go there since reading reviews about it and hearing about it's unique dipping sauces. I hadn't heard of anything like it before! We finally went last year at 5280. It didn't disappoint.  I had the steak my companion had the Mahi Mahi. We both had 3 dipping sauces with the meal. We also got bread with garlic pieces to start out, then an appetizer each, we ordered the selected wines to go with the meal. I had chocolate mousse for dessert and he had the cheese plate. It was a meal to remember. We loved the ambiance of the place and they even gave us a coupon for a free appetizer if we returned! I can only hope this year's 5280 will live up to the experience. Here's to thinking it will, it hasn't disappointed yet! Looking forward to another great culinary experience with 5280!!  

Al Suarez
Al Suarez

It's the same GoodTimes crap with a fancy napkin. Hillstone and Cherry Creek Grill still make a way better buger, and the only thing remotely close to that is a burger at Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids and Solids in Longmont. Sorry Cherry Cricket...

Troy Andrew
Troy Andrew

That will never work in cherry creek, needs to be in Aurora.....

JayF
JayF

This place will end up being Cherry Creek's family friendly alternative to the Cricket. 

In other words, this place will always be empty, except for 2-3 tables full of spoiled children and their extroverted mothers yapping away about what luxury items they're going to buy next. 

WillieStortz
WillieStortz

It looks like they have it all: old movie posters on the wall, random license plates, distressed wood behind the bar, wacky crazy burger choices and the ultra trendy garage door. 


Yep they have hit every requirement for the typical, bland, boring, burger chain, sports bar.

barslinger
barslinger

I was lucky to try the burgers Friday on an invite to a private party..........they were great.........four people for different burgers and "great burgers' was the consensus!!

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