Stephen Culler’s craving for breakfast burritos and his wife’s craving for burgers never seems to let up.
“But we don’t always feel excellent after those quick-service meals, so we wanted to change that,” Stephen said.
The couple signed a five-year lease this month to take over a former Smashburger at 9696 E. Arapahoe Road in Greenwood Village. They hope to open The LetUp, a fast-casual restaurant that will serve breakfast burritos in the morning and burgers for lunch and dinner, in April.
Stephen and his wife Teri plan to source high-quality ingredients for their dishes from farmers around the state, including Lasater Grasslands Beef and organic produce from Oxford Gardens.
They hope to get rid of that groggy feeling that they usually got after a big meal, Stephen said.
“We want people to be able to enjoy comfort food without so much greasy guilt,” he added.
For the last decade, Stephen has cooked at restaurants throughout Denver, including Colt & Gray, The Populist, The Wooden Table, and Lucky Pie. In October, he was laid off as a result of the pandemic and decided he “didn’t want to work for anyone else anymore,” he said.
Teri, who works full time as an orthodontic assistant, has also decided to quit her job “and jump in wholeheartedly” because of her passion for food, she said.
“We knew this year would be such a great entry point to the restaurant business because the cost of entry is so low right now,” Stephen said.
Broker Brian Frank with Axio Commercial Real Estate helped the couple land the deal for the 2,085-square-foot space.
The LetUp will be open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. It will serve coffee, bacon, sausage or chorizo burritos, as well as a vegan and vegetarian option for breakfast. For lunch and dinner, there will be cheeseburgers, chicken burgers or a black bean burger and sides.
“There are some great independent places that have long been supported in that shopping center, and we’re excited to be a part of that community,” Stephen said. “We want people to feel as if they can come and relax here, hence the name.”
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