The Angry Llama migrates home

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Restaurant operated by Journey Church reopens in its original space in Conifer

By Daniel Laverty

The Angry Llama is feeling less mad these days after returning to its Conifer roots.

The restaurant reopened April 10 at the Conifer Crossings building, the Angry Llama’s original space.

“We really wanted to come back to Conifer,” said Cortland Coffey, student director for Journey Community Church. “A lot of people missed having a place to just come and hang out.”

Journey Church opened the Angry Llama in 2010. The restaurant served hamburgers to Conifer residents for two years before moving to Evergreen in March 2012 as a sandwich shop. But after only a few months, that restaurant closed.

“It was a bad fit for us,” said Mike Cheshire, senior pastor of Journey Community Church. “The people in Evergreen were awesome, but the location wasn’t big enough. Plus, we wanted to go back to making burgers.”

And that’s exactly what customers will find on the menu. The Angry Llama has reduced the number of food items it serves to focus on making fast, quality food. Burgers, fries, onion rings and drinks make up the menu.

“We want to do this right,” Coffey said. “We’re making food better and faster.”

Coffey said the restaurant cuts potatoes for fries and chops onions for onion rings every day.

“We’re using homemade batter for the rings,” he said. “You won’t eat anything that isn’t fresh-cooked in our kitchen.”

To speed things up, customers can refill their own drinks and can even “dress up” their burgers. The restaurant now has a small station that offers veggies and sauces.

“Before, our staff would put the lettuce and the pickle and whatever else (the customer) ordered on the burger,” Coffey said. “Now, you dress up your own burger. If you want two tomatoes, take two tomatoes. Since we can focus on just making the burgers, we can get food out in as fast as three minutes.”

Patrick Riley — the staff calls him the “onion ring master” — has been volunteering at the Angry Llama for more than three weeks.

“It’s a great place to work,” Riley said as he pulled an order of onion rings out of the fryer. “We serve great food, and I work with great people.”

Sterling Furrowh, worship pastor at Journey Church, said the restaurant will gradually add more items to the menu.

“We’re going to start serving chicken wings (this week),” Furrowh said. “After we master serving and cooking something, then we’ll add more appetizers and other food.”

The restaurant expanded into another section of the building, allowing more room for tables and chairs.

“We have about 225 to 250 customers come in a day,” Cheshire said.

Burgers cost between $4 and $8, depending on how many toppings are added. Orders of fries or onion rings cost $2.25.

The Angry Llama is located in the Conifer Crossings building at 11825 U.S. 285 and is open from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, and is closed on Mondays. For more information, visit www.angryllamaburgers.com.

Contact Daniel Laverty at Daniel@evergreenco.comor at 303-350-1043. Follow him on Twitter at @LavertyReports.