A co-worker and I went to lunch the other day at Chopper’s in the Cherry Creek East neighborhood. It was a gorgeous day and we debated whether we should stroll over through the huge construction zone, or drive around two extra blocks to avoid the stares and catcalls.
We drove. Parading through the cone zone in heels and skirts didn’t seem like a great idea.
I love Chopper’s for many reasons. One being that while I was in graduate school, I waited tables there.
Of course, way back then, it was still Rick’s Cafe. Rick’s was the notorious “older” singles hang out in Denver in the 1980’s – Denver’s original Fern Bar. Before Cherry Creek was a big deal, before we’d heard of “Cougars” and while big hair was still very much in.
“Rick’s Girls” got special treatment. We got free shots on Saturday nights. The restaurant and bar were so crowded that we’d have to heave the giant trays above our heads and then start kicking the customers in the backs of their legs to get them to shift enough to open up a path for us.
In 1996 the restaurant changed hands and Chopper Traviglini opened up the new restaurant as a local sports bar. Chopper was the legendary trainer for the Denver Nuggets for many years, and he was well known around town. The bar and restaurant got a slight remodel from the Rick’s days, and then reopened with TV’s everywhere and better than standard bar food.
Chopper’s made the list for Top Sports Bar in this year’s edition of 5280 Magazine’s Top of the Town section. 5280 says you’ll come for the TV’s but, “you stay for the killer nachos and juicy hamburgers – or the 18 beers on tap.”
I particularly like their Castlewood Canyon salad with grilled chicken. One of the better salads in Cherry Creek, in my humble opinion, and I’ve tried them all.
So dribble on over to Chopper’s, but avoid the construction.
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