On July 2, Knockabout Burgers arrived at Avanti filling the conspicuous burger void. The new concept from New Belgium alumni Kaitlyn Peot and famed Fort Collin’s food truck The Tramp About founder Brandon Spain brings a succinct menu of inventive burgers, fries and sweets to the space that previously held Street Feud.
Initially planned for a May debut, Knockabout adjusted its original aim, opening with a slightly condensed menu for both on-site dining and pickup. Combining influences from across Spain’s culinary journey, the options range from classic fare to well-executed originals.
Spain — a self-taught chef — largely developed both his love for cuisine and his culinary chops while living in Austin. He cited a stint at the South Congress Cafe for its important role in forming his chops. After moving to Fort Collins he helped to found The Tramp About — the popular food truck will celebrate six years in business this fall. Since focusing his attention towards opening Knockabout, Spain has taken a backseat, continuing to act as a silent partner.
Peot spent 10 years in the purchasing department of New Belgium. The couple met during one of The Tramp About’s routine visits to the brewery. Spain’s creativity combined with Peot’s thoughtful sourcing provides a sturdy foundation for many of Knockabout’s charms — with beef being sourced locally from Lasater Grasslands Beef, cheese coming from Haystack, cookies from Mary’s Mountain Cookies and pork products from River Bear.
While the original menu included salads and a few additional burgers, the paired-down list still has plenty of solid options to choose from. The Knockabout Burger ($11.50) comes stacked with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, dill pickles, onions and house-made chive aioli. Despite being the most understated burger on the menu, the signature dish is a delightful take on the classic. The Chorizo Queso Burger ($12.50) — a nod to Spain’s time in Texas — comes with queso, chorizo, guacamole, chipotle aioli, onions, lettuce and tomato. The Kimchi Burger ($12) — with a sunny side up egg, hoisin ketchup, and sesame sriracha mayo — obeys the adage that the messiest burgers are generally the most trustworthy. While the burgers are all excellent if there’s one reason to visit Knockabout it would be curry-seasoned spicy sweet potato fries ($6). Arriving with a thick layer of exquisite, finger-staining curry and chipotle aioli, the side manages to steal the show despite its considerable main-fixture competition.
In addition to menu alterations, Peot and Spain cite contributions from family and friends as being integral to being able to open mid-pandemic. Branding — including the unmissable jumpsuits — were designed by Kesley Ireland. “We owe her a lot of favors,” laughed Peot. “And a lot of food,” smiled Spain. The papers that the food arrives on were all hand stamped by Peot’s six-year-old niece Olive, who recently was seen strutting around Avanti, boasting of a job well done.
Knockabout Burgers is located in Avanti at 3200 North Pecos St., Denver. It is open Sunday – Wednesday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Thursday – Saturday from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
All photography courtesy of Lucy Beaugard.