When it comes to eating out, fast food isn’t always good—and good food isn’t often fast. “Our specialty is offering high-quality meals quickly,” says Christian Anderson, co-owner and general manager of Chop Shop casual urban eatery, opened in late January in the Lowry Town Center.
Specialties at Chop Shop include slow-cooked short ribs, bacon-wrapped meatloaf, vegetarian fare and a 72-hour, slow-cooked onion soup. Chef/Co-owner Clint Wangsnes, a Park Hill resident, brings two decades of culinary experience to Chop Shop. “Clint has worked in all sorts of restaurants, all over the country,” said Anderson. “That gives us great flexibility to do whatever we like, to be creative. We serve everything from hamburgers to fried rice to meatloaf.”
Anderson, a native of New Haven, Conn., came to Denver in 2001 to pursue a degree in international business from the University of Denver. “After graduation I was working for Beverage Distributors, a local wine and spirits distributor, and I met Clint’s wife, Marci Austin. We were all hanging out one night and Clint had this idea for a chef-driven, fast-casual place that serves great food quickly. So in 2014 we opened the first Chop Shop at 4990 East Colfax. We were under-capitalized so we opened on credit cards. It was nerve-wracking. But we kept at it and got a following.”
He said they always wanted to open in Lowry. “We like the family-friendly area. So we were happy when the Salty Rita’s space became available—it was serendipitous the way it worked out for us.”
The 2,200-square-foot Lowry restaurant has more seating than the Colfax space, including two patios, one of them heated. “Colfax is cozy, while this one is more spread out. The neighborhood has been really receptive,” Anderson said.
Chop Shop’s meats are cooked sous vide style. Sous vide is French for ‘under vacuum,’ where foods in pouches are steamed at low temperatures to cook evenly and retain moisture. “We use time, pressure and temperature to cook our meats,” said Anderson. “It lets us produce thoughtful dishes because the work is on the back end. Our short ribs cook for 48 hours. There’s always something being cooked.”
While the Lowry eatery serves the most popular Chop Shop dishes, new menu items have been added. “We’re doing banh mi Vietnamese sandwiches and homemade corn dogs for the kids. Even the hotdog is homemade,” said Anderson. New cocktails include a gluten-free spiced blood orange margarita.
Chop Shop is open seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., at 200 Quebec St., on the main street of the Lowry Town Center. For more information see coloradochopshop.com or call 303-364-1102.