20 Westminster Window May 30, 2013
Burger baron branches out
WHAT: Life on Colorado Railroads: The American Passenger Car Era, 1930 to 1970
Smashburger founder Tom Ryan, the man who also brought you Tom’s Urban 24, a 24-hour diner style restaurant on Larimer Square, just opened another fastcasual eatery, Live Basil Pizza, at 6305 E. Hampden Ave. in Denver, on May 23. The new chain plans to open more outlets. The process is similar to Denverbased Chipotle Mexican Grill, where customers go through a line choosing what ingredients they want on their thin-crust pizzas before the dough goes in an oven that can cook a pizza in 150 seconds, according to an Associated Press report. “Co-founder Ryan says he thinks fresh, fast pizzas made before a customer’s eyes is where the market is heading,” according to the story. “A handful of shops, including 800 Degrees in Los Angeles, has similar concepts. Plans for such a chain were announced previously under the name Honest Pizza.” Honestly? I just want my pizza delivered to my house hot and in under an hour. On another pizza note, Pizzeria Locale from the Frasca folks will open at Sixth and Broadway (also known as the impossible place to park safely) next week.
WHERE: Colorado Railroad Museum, 17155 W. 44th Ave. in Golden
Dog-gone good eatin’ at DIA
Riding the rails
An advertisement for railroad travel, highlighting the comforts of the newly designed trains. Courtesy photos
New Railroad Museum exhibit looks at Golden Age of train travel By Clarke Reader
olorado and the West was built by the railroads, but as the region increased in population, trains transformed from a means of transport to a kind of travel to be enjoyed. The “Life on Colorado Railroads: The American Passenger Car Era, 1930 to 1970” exhibit at the Colorado Railroad Museum, 17155 W. 44th Ave. in Golden, takes visitors on an in-depth tour of the era when passenger train travel was at its peak. “It’s really exciting to have this new exhibit up,” said Donald Tallman, executive director of the museum. “This is the second exhibit in a three-part series on railroads, with the first being about the construction of the railroad.” According to Lauren Giebler, curator of the museum, the modern American passenger car era began in the 1930s when railroad companies transitioned from steam to diesel locomotives, and changed the look of their trains in an effort to attract more passengers. “Inspired by the Art Deco movement, railroads applied clean, unbroken lines, rounded corners, and gleaming metal bodies to trains and locomotive,” she said. “Projecting an
image of speed and power, the new trains symbolized the modernization of America.” Traveling on trains became a far more upscale affair for those who could afford it, with sleeping car porters, courier nurses and other people who specialized in making the travel experience as comfortable as possible being added to a railroad’s staff. “In this era it was not just about the train, but how you traveled as a guest on the train,” Tallman said. “When you traveled the companies wanted to make sure you had a nice experience, and hired people to take care of you.” The exhibit will feature photos of the new railroad staff, from porters, cooks and stewards to courier nurses, engineers and more. It will also feature eyewitness testimonies collected by Giebler, including an Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe (ATSF) Railway courier nurse and engineer and a Denver and Rio Grande Western (DRGW) Railroad yardman, among others. As technology and design advanced, the trains became faster. In 1937, the ATSF’s diesel-electric Super Chief train shortened the travel time from Chicago to Los Angeles from 55 hours to just under 40. To get a sense of the new train
A Santa Fe diesel-electric train, showing off the Art Deco-inspired design of the new trains from 1930-70.
If you go
WHEN: Museum opened daily from 9 a.m. to
COST: Members and children under 2 free; children (2-15), $5; adults (16-59), $10; senior (60-plus), $8; family, $20 INFORMATION: 303-279-4591 or www. coloradorailroadmuseum.org design that allowed for both speed and comfort, Giebler and a group of volunteers worked for two weeks fabricating a threequarter sized Navajo round-end observation car complete with a sleeping berth. Giebler added that this period was the zenith of railroading not only because of the advancements, but because of the employees’ experience. She said that strong wages, standardized working hours, health insurance, pensions, and respect from surrounding community members created a work environment in which employees would work for 30, 40, or even 50 years. As Giebler worked on the exhibit, she said that her favorite thing about it was the light it shined on those who made the era possible. “The Passenger Car Era is especially interesting because it is all about people,” she said. “The human connection is what draws people most to history.”
Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs, the popular spot at 3525 E. Colfax Ave., has formed a joint venture with LS Travel Retail North America and Doc 1 Solutions to open a restaurant in Denver International Airport, Concourse B. The airport space will be 1,390 square feet where owner and founder Steve Ballas and his wife, Linda, will serve a litter of their famous hot dogs along with sides such as the scrumptious deep-fried green beans. Voted “Best Hot Dogs in Denver” for six years in a row and 11th on the list of “Best Hot Dog Across America,” Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs has been catering to Denver residents and visitors for seven years in its Colfax location. Its restaurant is one of the most authentic and welcoming in the area, and its menu has a unique “homemade” feel. It includes hot dogs, burgers, and sides such as French fries, onion rings, potato tots and chili con carne. Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs is a supporter of local organizations, such as Project Angel Heart, which serves meals to people with life-threatening conditions. “This is a dream come true for my wife and I … we’re walking on air in the Mile High City! We’re super excited to be part of this and look forward to working with our partners and the airport team to introduce the world to the city’s best hot dogs,” Ballas said. A dine-in restaurant, the DIA Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs also will feature take-out options for travelers in a rush, including “Steve’s On The Go”: a grab-and-go counter offering ready-made hot dogs, breakfast sandwiches and wraps. Partnering with the Colorado native Bull & Bush Pub and Brewery — winner of a Gold Award at the World Beer Cup, the world’s largest beer competition — the location also will feature a large bar offering beer, bottled and on tap. Parker continues on Page 21