What, exactly, defines a gourmet hot dog other than the addition of an overused adjective? How about exotic meats like reindeer, wild boar, rattlesnake, pheasant, elk, antelope, jack-a-lope and buffalo all bolstered by quirky (and delicious) toppings, including squiggles of cream cheese unloaded from a caulking gun, caramelized onions soaked in Coke (the cola version), harissa-roasted cactus, Malaysian curry jam, wasabi aioli or caramelized apples?
It was 2005 when Jim Pittenger, aka Biker Jim, launched his first sidewalk food cart on a bustling street corner in Downtown Denver. One cart became two, and two became three. In March of 2011, after generating local, regional, national and international acclaim for the dogs he dispensed from the carts, Jim opened his first brick-and-mortar in the heart of Denver’s trendy Ballpark neighborhood. The opening was concurrent with the launch of a Biker Jim’s food truck that traversed across the country. In August of 2014, Jim opened a second brick-and-mortar in Highlands Ranch. Hello, suburbs!
Along with indulging your frankfurter fantasies at his restaurants, you can also find a Biker Jim’s hot dog cart hanging out at many of your favorite events in and around Denver. We’re plotting hot dog domination!
Back in the day, Biker Jim was one helluva repo man, liberating thousands of cars from unsuspecting wieners. But once he figured out that pimping sausages was far preferable to confiscating wheels, he fired up his gas grill and started slinging his nationally renowned dogs to a posse of meatheads.
Since making its mark in Denver, Biker Jim’s has racked up hundreds of accolades from numerous national and international publications, including Food & Wine magazine, Maxim magazine, Details magazine, the New York Times, Travel + Leisure magazine, Sunset magazine, The Wall Street Journal and the Guardian. In addition, Biker Jim’s has routinely been named the best hot dog in Denver by local publications, including Westword, 5280 magazine and The Denver Post. And, uh, not to toot our own horn, but Forbes magazine recently named Biker Jim’s one of the top ten hot dog joints in the country; Yelp named it the twelfth best restaurant in the country; and Foursquare ranked Biker Jim’s the fourth best hot dog haunt in the country. Hot diggity dog!
Jim’s first national television appearance, in 2010, was a big one: front-and-center on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, which initially aired on the Travel Channel. Biker Jim and his scene-stealing menu has also been featured on the Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Sundance Channel’s Ludo Bites America, the Cooking Channel’s Unique Eats and the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.
More than 10 years and 700,000 sausages later, what’s next for the Biker Jim’s empire? Hot dog domination across the nation. He’s exploring brick-and-mortar expansion opportunities, as well as campaigns that focus on the incredibly popular mobile market. Coupling the cart experiences with the stability of brick-and-mortars results in an effective use of engagement across all markets.