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The Cherry Cricket 2.0’s front bar area. Photo by Marc Piscotty

Opening Alert: The Cherry Cricket 2.0

Denver’s beloved burger joint expands with a sprawling new Ballpark location.

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Since 1950, the Cherry Cricket has stood virtually unchanged (save for minor tweaks after the 2016 fire that shuttered it for five months), like a democratic sentinel for the upscale Cherry Creek neighborhood. Its burger-and-beer fare, somewhat-divey vibe, and diverse clientele adds up to what co-owner Lee Driscoll calls “fairy dust”—the magical, impossible-to-replicate quality behind the eatery’s longstanding appeal and success.

With the Cricket’s expansion into a new Ballpark location, Driscoll says that he and his team at the Breckenridge-Wynkoop LLC have reproduced the essence of the iconic restaurant without trying to clone the fairy dust. Its new home in the Blake Street Space (formerly home to Breckenridge Brewery), is far larger than the original. Studio M2, the hospitality design firm behind the project, smartly sectioned off the space into a number of smaller, cozier areas; similar to the set up at the Cherry Creek location, diners can decide where they want to polish off their inevitable burger and frings.

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To the right of the new entrance, there’s a small bar with a limited menu devoted to take-out orders—a task that Driscoll says is always a bother at the Cherry Creek restaurant—and to the left, an elevated bar and dining area with high ceilings and lots of natural light. Cricket fans will recognize the reds and greens of the seats and banquettes, a color palette that M2 principal Chelle Maestas says was inspired by the original eatery.

Further back, alongside the blue-lit saltwater aquarium that anchors the space, is a comfortable lounge area replete with overhead string lights, a fireplace, soft seating, and board games; a community table dining area near the kitchen; an arcade with eight pour-it-yourself beer taps and everything from four-person Pac Man to Guitar Hero to Skee-Ball; and a carpeted dining area with televisions and a ceiling installation of reclaimed wooden crates.

The full menu includes the same beloved burgers, green chile, and fried snacks as the original, as well as a late-night menu that’ll run until 2:30 a.m. on weekdays and 3:00 a.m. weekends. If you like to go out in LoDo, this is a good contender for post-party grub; the arcade, fish tank, and kid’s menu will make it a go-to for the younger family set as well.

The doors open today at 11 a.m. And like a good neighbor should, the Cherry Cricket Ballpark is giving away “Free Frings for Life” cards to 50 lucky guests over the course of opening week (April 17 – 24).

2220 Blake St.

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