Recently launched inside Greenwood Village’s newest food hall — Grange Hall — is The Crack Shack. This chicken sandwich joint hailing from southern California puts a spin on an otherwise over-popularized sandwich with bursts of flavor and complimentary heat.
Similar to most food halls and marketplaces in Denver, Grange Hall offers counter-style service with various vendors under one roof. This happens to be The Crack Shack’s first kiosk model and first expansion out of California and Las Vegas where four other locations exist.
The flagship store opened in the Little Italy neighborhood of San Diego, California in 2015. What was meant to be solely a breakfast spot slowly turned into one of Southern California’s staple chicken sandwich shops. The concept got its name as a nod to cracking an egg.
“We thought it would be a breakfast spot, but we quickly pivoted to a chicken-focused menu as it became more and more popular,” Dan Peña, director of operations, said.
Though the cracking of an egg would originally be associated with breakfast, the team has adopted the age-old question. Which came first, the egg or the chicken? With a total of four locations, three in southern California and one in Las Vegas, Denver seemed like the best fit for its fifth location.
“We have dreamt about expanding The Crack Shack outside of southern California for years and are thrilled to make that official here in Colorado at Grange Hall,” said Peña. “Each coop is designed, from aesthetic to the menu, to share our love and appreciation for some damn good chicken. This location is especially unique in that it allows us to get creative to keep it SoCal with some added Colorado twists.”
The fare carries its best-selling dishes like the Coop Deville sandwich ($12) — fried chicken breast, pickled Fresno chiles, pickles, napa cabbage, lime mayonnaise and artisan brioche buns and the Firebird sandwich ($12) — spicy fried chicken breast, crispy onions, pickles, ranch and the same artisan brioche buns.
Exclusive to the Grange Hall location is a menu item that pays homage to Colorado’s green chile signature with Grange fries ($13) — signature schmaltz fries topped with chicken nuggets tossed in a house-made toro hot sauce, crispy bacon, Pueblo chiles-cheese wiz, ranch and scallions for garnish.
Sticking by their principles, both Peña and Jon Sloan, director of culinary operations, believe that food shouldn’t travel too far to be good. Each location uses locally sourced ingredients to ensure freshness. Though Crack Shack utilizes Red Bird Farms for cage-free, hormone- and antibiotic-free chicken, the other ingredients are sourced from City Bakery for artisan rolls, and Little Man Ice Cream for the Salted Oreo milkshake ($9).
While Las Vegas and California are known to be hot spots for new restaurant openings, Denver has entered into the conversation as a welcoming community for new concepts.
“We love Denver’s food community; it’s like-minded with our true focus on ingredients and love for the outdoors. We’re excited to expand, and Denver is a natural fit,” Peña said.
The Crack Shack is located inside the Grange Hall at 6575 Greenwood Plaza Blvd., Greenwood Village. It is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. – 11 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. It will be closed Mondays for the first four weeks. More information about The Crack Shack can be found online here.
All photography courtesy of The Crack Shack.