Story by Alexandra Bunn
The Cricket Burger Comeback And Other Black Sheep Tales
For more than 70 years now the dark, ornery entrance of our beloved Cherry Cricket has served as the city’s unofficial gateway to burger and beer counter-culture. No pretentions, never one for frills — we’ve become sort of the last man standing in a neighborhood now lined with fancy restaurants and flashy faces. Call it stubborn or steadfast, we can’t imagine what burger business would be like any other way.
More than just a spot for customers to grab a burger and a beer, since 1945 we’ve been a home away from home to friends and family. Our little corner joint has been an oasis to the burger-crazed, a friendly-faced watering hole, a happy hour haven, and a late night hang spot for anyone looking to take a load off.
We’d like to believe our honest, homegrown hospitality has even offered a little something different to all our guests and if the past few months have been any indication — it has proven just that.
Stepping away from the kitchen, the stirred up nostalgia and outpouring of affection for the Cricket hit us heavy. We know what this place means to us, but what about our band of black sheep supporters?
As we watched folks spill through the door just a few weeks back, Denver old timers and transplants alike gathered together offering up welcoming words of support, honest-to-goodness embraces, and of course, burger-starved bellies looking to fill up on a few tasty bites. This was not your typical reopening. Memories of the November kitchen fire that shut us down were washed away and the ‘gone-for-good’ fears disappeared faster than a basket of frings.
You see, through the months of reconstruction, we received a flood of encouragement mightier than the Colorado itself. Memories were recounted — the birthdays, the first dates that turned into anniversaries, and the honorary Denverites who make their cross-country, cross-continent burger pilgrimage to the humble yet infamous Mile High haunt. All this affection for the Cherry Cricket stopped us dead in our tracks. Reading like a build-your-own burger list, the combinations of praise and well wishes were unique and endless.
Some of your stories even got us a little misty eyed, sharing your sweeter than candied bacon moments at the Cricket:
I miss you guys so much. The baby growing in my belly has only enjoyed The Cricket once and I hope we can happen again before his arrival in June. You were are one my husband and I’s first date and have been a staple for 10 years. You’re loved and so special and we’re so hopeful for a powerful return. Keep strong!!
Hoping you reopen soon…My wife and I had our first date over burgers at your place and our six month anniversary is Christmas eve, we will be by to to see how the rebuild is coming along! Merry Christmas and wish you all well!
While others offered up a helping hand:
Do you need volunteers to come help get you up and running to reopen? Filling napkin holders, wiping down furniture, anything. My hubby and I were so sad to see the closed sign.
Hi! I’m a supervisor down the street from you guys. We’re looking for seasonal help and wanted to talk to you guys to see if anyone was looking for work while the restaurant is getting fixed up. Give me a call when you have the chance! Thanks
The cheerful comments and priceless memories shared go on and on. Feeling inspired to spread this burger love, we’ve decided to pay tribute to these offerings using the soapbox from which we stand. The love for a good burger is rivaled only by one hell of a story. It’s a pretty classic pairing and one that we’re honored to bring together.
Faithful friends and followers, we announce to you Cricket Stories: a series dedicated to sharing your very best tales (and burger bites) within these four walls.
Cricket Stories is our way of shedding some light on the 70+ years history and the patrons that have made one of Denver’s oldest burger joints the one of a kind place that it is. This weekly share will celebrate the very best thing about the Cherry Cricket — you, friends, are the special sauce; the ingredient we just wouldn’t be the same without..
So if you’ve got a good story to tell, we want to hear from you! Submit your own Cricket memory at firstname.lastname@example.org. Featured storytellers will receive a Cherry Cricket prize pack including a dinner for four and Black Sheep swag to pair. This should help keep the memories coming, right?
We cannot wait to see what Cricket traditions and tales you have up your sleeve but until then, we’ll be in the kitchen getting back to what we do best — burger slinging, mac ‘n cheese bite making all with a beer or boozy shake or two on the side.