Torchy’s Tacos, Bonchon and Smashburger have opened new locations

Torchy’s Tacos, the wildly popular Austin-based fast-casual chain, opened a 5,000-square-foot location, at 63 North Quebec Street, in Denver’s Lowry neighborhood, on June 22. It is the company’s seventh restaurant in Denver and its tenth overall in Colorado, according to a statement. The other three are in Colorado Springs, Boulder and Fort Collins.

“Colorado has some of the most loyal, die-hard taco junkies in the country, and it’s because of them that we’ve seen such incredible growth in the state since we opened our first Denver restaurant in 2016,” Torchy’s founder and CEO Mike Rypka said in a statement.

Torchy’s is known for its oversized fusion tacos that include everything from breakfast tacos made with brisket; green chile pork tacos with cotija cheese; and fried chicken tacos with poblano sauce.

Torchy’s was founded 15 years ago and now has 100 locations in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Kansas, Indiana, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

Korean fried chicken chain Bonchon opened its third Colorado location, at 3970 Buchtel Blvd., last week. The fast-casual concept, which was founded in South Korea before coming stateside and expanding to nearly 115 locations here, features crispy chicken and wings.

The local franchises are owned by Henry Lee, who opened his first in late 2018 and helped usher in the still-growing Korean fried chicken trend here that now includes a wide variety of local, independent restaurants as well as chains. Lee plans to open two more stores in Westminster and Colorado Springs later this year.

Other recent Korean fried chicken openings include WingWok in Centennial, Mono Mono’s third location in Lafayette and bb.q Chicken, another Korean-born chain with a local franchisee.

Smashburger, the 15-year-old Denver-founded chain that now has 236 locations across 36 states and eight countries,  recently opened its 25th location in Colorado.

The new 2,500-square-foot outlet, at 5302 DTC Blvd. in Greenwood Village, has room for 65 people inside and another 58 on the patio, according to a company statement. It will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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