It’s hard to miss this place when you see the big cowboy at the entrance. With a 36 ft tall sign out front, it makes the building itself feel smaller. The large statue overlooking their outdoor seating is also very western.
William Davies toured across the US as an assistant manager for restaurants, and he apparently loved the diner culture of the East Coast. Weirdly enough, Colorado diners don’t seem to be a thing and Bill’s not happy about it.
When he came back in 1947, Bill saw the main cross-country highway through Lakewood – US 40 – as the perfect place to put a diner. It’s flanked by tons of tourists and truckers daily.
He wouldn’t let the distance of the nearest diner manufacturer stop him. He wanted to keep his business alive so he sold single posts of his fresh goods to different establishments in town.
In 1957, the two halves of what is now Davies’ Chuck Wagon were shipped by rail from New Jersey to the foot of the Rocky Mountains.
Read more: Fun Activities & Games in Lakewood CO
The tabletop jukebox is a rarity nowadays. It plays a variety of tunes from Country to Rock n Roll, and is a longtime favorite at the restaurant. The prefab cement diner also deserves mention because it’s one of the last still standing! It’s been on the National Register since it opened its doors in 1951.
While out-of-towners are usually the ones who stop by, locals frequent Davies’ Chuck Wagon too. 80% of customers are regulars!
When a proposed law in the 1990s was designed to reduce distractions and thereby lower the number of accidents, the people rallied behind one roadside diner’s oversized cowboy. The town fought for years and won when the owner refused to take him down.
Even though diners in the last half of the 20th century gradually began to swap out their meals for processed food, Chuck Wagon was one popular diner that stuck around in Lakewood. This 36-foot neon chef cowboy stayed on his post like he would anywhere else.