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Photo courtesy of White Fence Farm

Saying Farewell to White Fence Farm

After 45 years, Lakewood’s fried chicken destination will go dark on December 30.

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As someone who grew up in the suburbs of Denver, there are a handful of places that I’ll always love: Lakeside Amusement Park, Casa Bonita, the old La Loma (RIP), and White Fence Farm.

So, I was crushed to hear the latter would serve its final fried chicken dinner on December 30.

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That’s not to say I’ve been a regular in recent years—there’s better fried chicken in town nowadays, and going to the restaurant/petting zoo/music venue/gift shop is, well, a whole thing. Still, as many longtime Mile High City residents will probably understand, WFF is a place of special memories: Dressing up in my Sunday best for long dinners with extended family in the carpeted dining room (there are actually eight dining rooms, but they’ve all merged into one in my mind); whooshing down the two-story “Pig Chute” slide with my brother and sister; feeding the goats at the “O.K. Corral”; begging my parents for fudge at Granny’s Sweet Shop.

In a press release, owners Tom Piercy and Craig Caldwell cited the usual factors for the impending closure: the labor shortage and increased competition. “We have been operating at a net monthly loss for a considerable amount of time,” Caldwell wrote. “Efforts to create a profitable operation were not successful and we can no longer operate in this capacity.” Attempts to modernize—revamping the bar program, adding healthier options to the menu, and opening takeout locations across the Front Range (all since closed)—weren’t enough to save it.

A couple weekends ago, I convinced my family (husband, mom, dad, sister, and 90-year-old grandma) that we should visit one last time. We called for a reservation, but no one was answering the phone. And when my sister arrived at 6:30 on that Saturday night, she was quoted a wait time of “at least” three hours. Too hungry to wait, we ended up at the Post Brewing Co.’s bustling Rosedale location instead. My grandma said it was the best fried chicken she’d ever had.

If you go: The White Fence Farm is open until December 30, although it’s only accepting reservations for parties of 20 or more (which you’ll likely have to place in person). My advice? Show up early.

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