By Steve Graham
Photos Courtesy Cherry Cricket
Denver has changed and grown since 1945, and the Cherry Cricket has grown up with it.
As the self-described “black sheep” of Cherry Creek, it has long been known as an unusually casual, warm and welcoming watering hole and pub amid the upscale Cherry Creek shopping district.
Now, after 73 years of serving famous burgers and Colorado craft beers, the Cherry Cricket is opening its second location in the neighborhood near Coors Field.
“We didn’t want to do a cookie cutter of the Cricket, but we wanted to do something with that same kind of fairy dust,” said co-owner Lee Driscoll.
He says the Cricket’s fairy dust is in the menu and the people. He admits some of his staffers look odd, but they all offer top-shelf service.
“We have a lot of very casually dressed servers who are out there on the edge,” Driscoll said. “Not the type of people you would expect to give you excellent service based on their appearance.”
They will be serving some favorite dishes at the ballpark location, including fish tacos, southwestern salad and a vegetarian grinder, in addition to the legendary burger and “frings” (a half-order of fries and a half-order of onion rings).
Driscoll is also excited about the expanded drink menu, with 32 craft beer taps, an expanded wine cellar, boozy shakes and some fairly creative cocktails.
The (Fish) Tank SIP includes mezcal, pineapple rum, blue curacao, Swedish fish and mint algae. And the Rockie(s) Smash honors their neighboring athletes in purple with fireside whiskey, honey lavender syrup and torched orange peel.
There will also be a late-night food and drink menu available from midnight to 3 a.m., as well as a 1,500-gallon saltwater fish tank and a game room.
The new Cricket replaces the Breck on Blake, a Breckenridge Brewery outlet that Driscoll helped run, with limited success.
“We had an existing place there, but we had struggled with it over the last couple of years,” he said.
Perhaps surprisingly to folks who remember the history of the ballpark neighborhood, the new location is in a more densely populated neighborhood with more families. A different demographic now lives around the Cherry Creek location, and most current Cherry Cricket customers drive more than five miles to get a burger and some beer, Driscoll said.
He hopes to draw those neighborhood families, as well as baseball fans and LoDo revelers at the new location.
The new Cherry Cricket opens Tuesday, April 17, at 2220 Blake St. It will be open from 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday, with happy hour from 3-6 p.m. and from 10 p.m. to close daily.