Denver, Colorado 2020-10-30 07:02:17 –
Two years after signing a lease, Crock Spot finally opened its first wheelless location in Sunnyside.
Crock Spot – which launched in 2010 at a farmers market in Cherry Creek and has expanded to two food trucks – opened its 1,678 square foot restaurant at 4045 Pecos St. last Saturday. It offers a “slow cooking gourmet cuisine menu,” according to co-owner Stephen Smith.
“I am excited to create roots and realize my vision of 10 years ago of building a restaurant chain based on style of cooking, not style of cooking,” said Smith.
Crock Spot’s new location serves a core group of food truck fan favorites, such as “Proper Half Half” – Thai jasmine fried rice topped with pulled pork, chimichurri, sour cream, and sriracha veggies – as well as rotating specialties, including this weekend’s lamb ragu bowl.
Smith and his wife Mandy signed a lease for the ground-floor corner unit of the Block Forty45 development in October 2018. Construction of the restaurant was around 25% when the couple encountered funding issues with a former business partner.
“It has been a difficult year for me,” said Smith. “I was paying the lease for a restaurant that was not open; I had a lot of debts from the construction that had been completed; and then COVID hit. “
In February, the owners found a new business / financial partner to help, among other things, the restaurant cross the finish line.
The Smiths were inspired to create Crock Spot after receiving rave reviews from friends for Stephen’s Stews and Slow Roast Meats. The couple launched their first food truck in 2011 and the second in 2017.
Crock Spot is also expanding into a second brick-and-mortar location in the one-block redevelopment project known as Park Hill Commons. It plans to open in 2,600 square feet at 2928 Fairfax Street, on the ground floor of the development’s 22 micro-unit building, in the first quarter of 2021, Smith said.
And the owners don’t stop there.
“I’m a thoroughbred and ready to run,” Smith joked.
In addition to operating two food trucks and expanding into two physical locations, Crock Spot also took over the cafe leases at the industry’s two coworking locations in Denver.
Crock Spot at the Industry Cafe, which opened at the end of October, serves coffee as well as Crock Spot take-out meals from 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Wednesday.
“One of my food trucks was always in one place or the other, and we just thought, ‘Why not make this a permanent home and increase the income stream? Smith said.
Crock Spot’s food trucks have never stopped working throughout the pandemic and will not stop despite the expansion, Smith said. He said food truck sales were down 40%, but what saved the business was the ability to meet the needs of the National Guard’s frontline COVID responders.
“Food trucks are my rolling billboards,” Smith said.