Updated: March 30, 2012 at 12:00 am
There’s another competitor in Colorado Springs’ burger wars.
Larkburger, an Arvada-based fast-casual chain, will open its first Springs location at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Broadmoor Towne Center, at Nevada Avenue and Southgate Road on the city’s southwest side.
Larkburger follows Smashburger, Crave Real Burgers, Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers as entrants into Colorado Springs in recent years. They join Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and longtime local favorite Conway’s Red Top, among others, as restaurants that advertise burgers that are a cut above McDonald’s, Burger King and other fast-food chains.
The Broadmoor Towne Center location will be Larkburger’s seventh in Colorado, and president Adam Baker said he hopes to add at least two more in the area. The restaurants are owned by the chain, not franchised, he said.
Larkburger’s expansion to the Springs was a natural move, Baker said.
“It’s just down the road,” he said. “It’s also a huge market and there’s a lot of people here.”
The Broadmoor Towne Center— whose anchors include Gordmans clothing store and 24 Hour Fitness — is a high traffic area that Baker said appealed to him and his partners. They also like the synergy created by the center’s other fast-casual restaurants, including Noodles & Co., Panera Bread and Qdoba Mexican Grill.
Larkburger began in 2006 as a spinoff of the Larkspur fine dining restaurant in Vail, Baker said. He was Larkspur’s general manager; his partners in the hamburger chain are Larkspur’s owners.
“We’re restaurant people,” Baker said. “We have a lot of passion in what we do.”
Larkburger’s menu offers 100 percent certified Angus beef hamburgers, along with chicken, turkey and tuna burgers, portabella mushroom burgers and veggie burgers. Burgers are char-broiled and cooked to order, with thicker patties than some competitors, Baker said.
The menu also includes truffle and Parmesan fries, salads with house-made dressings and all-natural milk shakes made with Boulder Ice Cream.
Competition among burger joints can be fierce. Another fast-casual chain, Fatburger, came and went in Colorado Springs. Conway’s Red Top, whose history in the Springs dates to the 1940s, recently closed its longtime South Nevada Avenue location, although it still operates three others.
Baker recognizes the competition, but said Larkburger didn’t set out to mimic other chains.
“We weren’t chasing a trend,” Baker said. “We started doing it because we had a product that we really believed in. And that’s what we continue to do today. ... We have a lot of confidence in what we do and we hope other people will like it as well.”
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