Exclusive: Biker Jim opening a second brick-and-mortar in Highlands Ranch
Three years ago, sausage czar Jim Pittenger opened Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs, his brick-and-mortar on Larimer Street that followed several years of unrivaled success pimping game-changing dogs from a long-standing cart on the 16th Street Mall. And now Pittenger, whose famous fat wieners slapped with cream cheese and Coke-soaked onions have been plastered all over the Food Network, is opening a second Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs in the 'burbs.
"We were approached by Joe Zemla, the owner of Bernie's Hot Dog Company, in the fall of last year, to take over his Highlands Ranch store. They thought it would be good to work with us and get us into that spot," says Pittenger, noting that Zemla and Su, his wife, are moving to Arizona to be closer to family.
The 1,280-square-foot space, which sits at 1601 Mayberry Drive, in the same town center as Crave and Indulge Wine Bar, will be a quick turnaround, says Pittenger. "We have to get a sign made, get our liquor license, shoehorn some new equipment into the kitchen, slap some paint and art on the walls, and swap put the Pepsi machine for a Boylan machine, but we think we can get all of that done fairly quickly and optimistically open by the second week in July," says Pittenger.
The thirty-seat restaurant also lays claim to a 1,000-square-foot patio with "awesome views of the Rocky Mountains," notes Pittenger, whose menu of sausages, most of which are sourced from Continental Sausage, will mimic the board at the Larimer Square location. "It's a smaller space, and the kitchen is tight, but we're going to try and recreate the same menu; we want people to have the same ride, so to speak, as they do on Larimer," he adds.
As for his first foray into the suburbs, Pittenger says it's "a great experiment for us to see if we can prove the concept in a suburban market." There are tons of homes near the space, he adds, and, he predicts, "lots of people who are going to very happy that they don't have to drive downtown to get a Biker Jim dog."
The town center where Biker Jim's will reside hosts an annual Fourth of July bash, which includes a hot dog competition that Pittenger is sponsoring, and if Pittenger hasn't opened his shop by then, he'll have a hot dog cart in front of the restaurant. "Ideally, we'd love to be open by that weekend, but if not, we'll still have a cart, and we'll have some beers and sodas lying around inside if people want to wander in and take a look at the space," he says.
Hours, he notes, are still being determined, but it'll likely be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the week, and he'll tack on an extra hour on Friday and Saturday.