Smashburger, the rapidly expanding better burger restaurant known for its fresh, smashed to order burgers, announced plans to open two new locations at Denver International Airport (DEN) through its new franchisee, Midfield Concession Enterprises (MCE-DIA LLC). MCE received approval on the proposed Smashburger restaurants from the Denver City Council and Mayor Michael Hancock on Monday, March 14. The restaurants are expected to open in late 2016 and early 2017.
The new full-service Smashburger restaurants will occupy the 3,573- and 2,317-square-foot spaces on concourses B and C that currently house Lefty’s Mile High Bar and Grill and Lefty’s Front Range Grill. MCE will offer jobs to the 85 employees impacted by the closure of the Lefty’s restaurants. The new Smashburger locations will feature a full bar and a breakfast menu, in addition to Smashburger’s traditional lunch and dinner offerings.
“We are excited for our relationship with MCE-DIA LLC and for MCE to bring Smashburger’s better burgers to our hometown airport for the first time,” says Rick Schaden, Smashburger cofounder and chairman. “As we continue our rapid expansion of restaurants in nontraditional spaces like airports and casino locations, we look forward to the opening of the first Denver airport location and giving travelers the opportunity to a taste local Denver flavors as they come and go from our hometown.”
These openings serve as a milestone for Denver based Smashburger, and represent the brand’s first airport locations in Colorado. Both restaurants will feature a full bar with 10 beers on tap, including a selection of local craft beers from Colorado breweries and a variety of handcrafted cocktails.
“We’re excited to work with the Smashburger brand, which has established itself as a well-known burger concept with strong roots in the Denver market,” says Samir Mashni, vice president of Midfield Concession (MCE-DIA LLC). “This was a big win for the team and we are grateful for the support of the Smashburger team which welcomed us into their restaurant family for this project. We are thrilled to bring these great brands and our award-winning designs and customer focused programs to Denver International Airport.”
The MCE-DIA LLC proposal is a 10-year contract and will also bring Tom’s Urban, a restaurant brand developed and operated by Consumer Concept Group, which began in 2013 with the vision and funding of Rick Schaden, and new brewery, Tivoli, into the Westin Denver International Airport Hotel. The new deal is the largest food and beverage contract that DIA has ever awarded.
The DEN project continues Smashburger’s strategy to bring the brand to nontraditional locations from travel sites to college campuses. Smashburger currently operates in 10 airport locations across the globe with several additional locations coming soon.