The Grasshopper shake with creme de menthe, chocolate vodka and fresh mint at the new Cherry Cricket Ballpark on April 13 , 2018 in Denver. Boozy milkshakes are a new addition to the menu at this Cherry Cricket location. (Amy Brothers, The Denver Post)
Frings and fishtanks.
That’s all you really need to know about The Cherry Cricket Ballpark anyway, right?
Maybe that’s not all you need to know, but they sure are two things fans of the original Cricket in Cherry Creek are looking forward to.
That Cherry Cricket opened more than 70 years ago on East Second Street in Denver, and has since become a dining staple in the Mile High City with its giant burgers and come-as-you-are vibe. Since November 2017, when the watering hole announced it was finally adding a second location in the former Breck on Blake space by Coors Field, fans have eagerly waited the opening.
The juicy, beefy, fringy wait is over.
“With this space, we didn’t want it to be cookie-cutter,” said Lee Driscoll, who co-owns the Cricket with Ed Cerkovnik. “But at the same time, we didn’t want in any way to damage the essence of the current Cricket, which is kind of like fairy dust. We knew we couldn’t re-create the Cricket, but we wanted similar elements.”
While the project ended up being even more different than the owners originally intended, the heart of what makes Cherry Cricket a Denver institution remains.
“We really focused on what we thought was the critical hit, and that’s really all about the service and the food and an atmosphere that’s comfortable for people from all social demographics,” he added.
When talks began of branching out with another Cricket, and Driscoll and crew were asking fans what some of their favorite parts of the burger joint were, one thing stood out: the fish tank.
When visitors walk in to the new space, which seats 286, they are greeted by 1,500 gallons of water, colorful fish, and a few creative aquatic decorations. Customers will also notice a very different layout of the historic building at 2220 Blake St.
While there is still an upper-level bar — just like there was at Breck on Blake — the rest of the space is totally reimagined, like the to-go area and the cozy fireside lounge that offers an area to sit and enjoy a drink, or play a round of Rockem Sockem Robots.
In the back, a large game room hosts giant Pac Man, pop-a-shot and more with pour-your-own beer and cider taps (limit 32 ounces per person) so you don’t have to wander up to the bar.
While it’s the same Cricket menu, the new location has embraced the LoDo vibe by including some new cocktails, like an homage to the Blake Street Bombers, the Rockie(s) Smash (fireside whiskey, blackberry and honey lavender syrup) for $8. And diners will a sweet tooth will love the addition of boozy shakes like the Grasshoppah’ with Creme de Menthe, chocolate vodka and fresh mint for $10.
The Cherry Cricket Ballpark is open until 2:30 a.m. on weekdays and 3:30 a.m. on weekends to serve the hungry night owls of Denver with $12 wings or a half-pound Cricket burger for $8.50.
And just like the original Cricket has done in Cherry Creek over the years, the purveyor of one of Denver’s favorite burgers hopes to quickly become a fixture in its new neighborhood, and quickly make Ballpark feel like home.
“The critical thing we strive for is everyone’s comfortable here.”
The Cherry Cricket Ballpark opens April 17 at 11 a.m. at 2220 Blake St. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Happy hour runs 3 to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. until closing daily. To celebrate the grand opening, the restaurant will give away free Frings (fries and onion rings) for life to 50 guests: 40 in person via a raffle at the new ballpark location, and 10 on social media during opening week. cherrycricket.com.