On Tuesday, a restaurant with a storied past opened its doors inside a building with a big Denver history. Twenty-six years after Breckenridge Brewery first moved into 2220 Blake Street, the Cherry Cricket has transformed this sprawling warehouse space into a new kind of Ballpark staple, complete with 2 a.m. Cricket burgers.
“We’re not chain people,” said Cherry Cricket’s co-owner Lee Driscoll. “We knew we couldn’t reproduce (the restaurant).”
Cherry Cricket has been a Denver institution for more than 70 years, under different names, ownership, and locations. It shuttered in 2016 following a kitchen fire but reopened early last year, still very much a Cherry Creek staple. Driscoll says he doesn’t know exactly why the original restaurant has been so successful, except that its service and food are consistently better than what people would expect of a pub and burger joint. Then there’s also the “fairy dust.” But he’s not sure if that part will translate to Ballpark.
The new Cherry Cricket is built to offer something to everyone, though. It fits nearly 300 patrons across five distinct seating areas and a game room. A 1,500-gallon saltwater fish tank stands just beyond the entrance, with a little railing for kids to stand up on and stare from. Table games are scattered around comfy lounge seating and waiting areas, TVs line the bar, and the front of the restaurant offers diner seating and a to-go counter. In the very back is a full-on mini arcade with air hockey and self-serve beer taps.
The dining room is certainly more modern than the original Cricket’s, but “we really didn’t want it to be fancy,” Driscoll said. He thinks one of the big successes of the brand is its leveling nature — that diners can walk in with hard hats or, just as easily, suits and jackets. To accommodate the new surrounding neighborhood, Driscoll and the team are extending their prospective clientele to now also include later nighttime revelers. Burgers and more menu items (to eat in or to-go) will be available until 2:30 a.m. on weekdays and until 3 a.m. on weekends, as will the happy hour.
Status: Cherry Cricket Ballpark is now open daily at 2220 Blake Street from 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 11:00 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Happy hour will run from 3 to 6 p.m. and from 10 p.m. until close daily.