In a 2020 article for a series about "cities where live music has exploded," Rolling Stone turned the spotlight on Denver, proclaiming that our city is "in the midst of a huge live-music boom." Some would argue that the scene has been booming for years — and not only does Denver have its share of venues dedicated to live music, but a number of restaurants and bars around town offer live music, as well.
When nothing but the crispiest, juiciest fried bird in town will do, mosy to RiNo’s Number Thirty Eight, where Split Lip has been slinging sandwiches and regionally inspired burgers since last September. Grab a drink from one of the warehouse’s many drink portals and nosh on finger-licking specialties like the fiery-as-you-like hot chicken sandwich, which comes in your choice of sauce(if you’re a heat-seeker, go for the XXX) and layered with slaw and pickles. For those with a sweet tooth, the brunch-centric plate of fried chicken over a house-crafted funnel cake is an absolute must-try. Number Thirty Eight,3560 Chestnut Place
Haleigh Watts grew up riding horses in Jefferson County and visiting the National Western Stock Show every year. So when she got a job working near the National Western Complex as Number Thirty Eight's national marketing director when the venue opened in October 2020, she had the perfect idea."I knew the Stock Show was right around the corner, and although we're not officially affiliated with the Stock Show, January is a time when country music and Western vibes kind of take over the city," Watts says. "I thought, 'How can Number Thirty Eight get involved?' We were still at the height of COVID going into 2021, and so a lot of the normal January staples weren't happening. I said, 'Okay, well, we have this great outdoor space, great indoor space. Why don't we throw our own country concert series?' Our two owners are also Denver natives, and all the big country music fans were immediately on board."
We had the good fortune of connecting with Haleigh Watts and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Haleigh, do you have any habits that you feel contribute to your success?
This is a fun question because it’s changed so much over time. I feel more successful now than ever in my career before and it’s really only happened within the last 1-2 years.
Over at Number Thirty Eight (3560 Chestnut Place), the Split Lip crew takes the idea of a Denver twist on a chopped cheese even further, with a variation made with ground bison and green chiles along with onions, American cheese, fry sauce, shredded lettuce and tomato on a Gambino hoagie from New Orleans.
How many pickles is too many pickles? At Split Lip, our 2022 Best of Denver pick for the city's best hamburger, the limit does not exist. This venture started as a series of pandemic pop-ups from longtime hospitality pros who've now turned to creating a menu of crave-worthy, hyper-regional dishes full-time inside Number Thirty Eight. While Split Lip offers several burger options (all $14, served with a side of tots), the Mississippi Slug Burger was the OG fan favorite from its pop-up days and remains a lesson in cheeseburger perfection, dressed simply with American cheese, "sawse" and, yes, a fuck-ton of housemade pickles on a soft sesame seed bun. Bonus: Split Lip also makes a hell of a hot chicken sandwich. Go with a friend who likes to share and get both.
Colorado was the 38th state to join the Union and Number Thirty Eight is an ode to all things Coloradoans love—aka, craft beer and being outside. This venue (which managed to open in the fall of 2020 despite the ongoing pandemic) features a drool-worthy menu from Split Lip Chicken, a beverage program highlighting locally made spirits and a wide array of Colorado brews, an outdoor stage for live music, and even sand volleyball courts. It’s basically an adult playground, and we’re here for it.r it is, the way you tell your story online can make all the difference.