A year ago we checked in with Grind Kitchen + Watering Hole at 300 Fillmore Street; At the time, chef and co-owner Preston Phillips said business was picking up at Cherry Creek Restaurant, which specializes in Southern-inspired dishes, including fried chicken, which was our pick for best in town in 2017.
But now Grind is closed. “We would like to thank all of our wonderful guests and great staff that we have had for the past 6 years, but due to the sale and destruction of our building, we have closed our doors in Cherry Creek,” the blogger wrote. Preston’s mother, Janeen Phillips, in an email announcing the news.
Fans of Grind’s fried chicken may no longer be able to get that specific fix, but there are options – and not just hot chicken, although that take on the bird is all the rage. In 2021, Fort Collins’ Music City Hot Chicken debuted in a Denver outpost at TRVE Brewing; the city also has two locations of Dave’s Hot Chicken, and flamboyant bird, with locations in Arvada and Englewood, plans to open a third in downtown Denver soon.
For instant bone-in fried chicken comfort without the heat, here’s where we go:
The Flamboyant Chicken Shack II
5560 East 33rd Avenue
This soul-food spot is a hidden gem tucked a block away from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The exterior might not look particularly welcoming, with its caged windows and barred door, but you’ll find a comforting vibe inside, plus a menu full of Southern classics at home, including okra, catfish, hot links and, yes, home-fried. chicken with sides like mac and cheese and collard greens sprinkled with shredded pork knuckle and reinforced with cabbage.
Post chicken and beer
With six locations and a seventh slated to open in the former Lola in LoHi, restaurateur Dave Query’s Chicken Shack Flock consistently fry the Front Range’s best bird — and was our pick for Best Fried Chicken in 2021. Chef Brett Smith came up with a mouth-watering recipe for cruising in 2014, when the first post opened in Lafayette — and it’s gluten-free, largely to get the best value, but also to s ensure that as many people as possible can enjoy the delicious bird. Every meal at the Post feels like a family picnic, with great chicken, stellar sides, and plenty of fresh beer, including Top Rope lager and several other great beers made by the Post Brewing Company.
Welton Street Cafe
2736 Welton Street
With the recent announcement that Welton Street will close on March 12 after 22 years at its current location, we crave its classic fried chicken more than ever. This Five Points soul-food staple is fighting for a comeback, however. With plans to move to another space a block away, the Dickerson family, who have owned the restaurant since 1986, started a GoFundMe page to help defray the costs of the renovations. While the hope is to be able to reopen at 2883 Welton Street by summer, now is the time to visit – frequently – to polish half a fried bird with your choice of accompaniments (cabbages and mashed potatoes are a solid choice).