Flavor Fusion & Family Heritage


By Lexi Reich

Photography Courtesy of Zig Zag Smokin’ Burger and Meatball Eatery & Libations

ZIG ZAG SMOKIN’ BURGER AND MEATBALL EATERY & LIBATIONS embody the heart of family in Greenwood Village

IN GREENWOOD VILLAGE, a local food-industry family has stirred the culinary pot.

Zig Zag Smokin’ Burger and Meatball Eatery & Libations aren’t just your average eateries; they are culinary journeys driven by blending tradition with innovation, which originally began as separate concepts but now operate as a blended dining experience. Owner Brock Hopfenspirger, a scion of a restaurant family, has a strong ethos behind his blended dining destinations. Today, the dual-restaurant concept stands as a beacon of authenticity—a place where meals are a celebration of flavor, family and friendship. 

“We have countless regulars and families that visit us on a weekly, if not daily, basis,” says Hopfenspirger. “Guests like that really help push the business forward and remind me why I got into this industry in the
first place.”

Owners, Brock and Brittany Hopfenspirger

For Hopfenspirger, the restaurant business isnʼt just a passion—itʼs in his DNA. Raised in a family where restaurants were a way of life, he gained invaluable lessons from his parents who were the visionaries behind the iconic Gunther Toodyʼs Diner. After years of industry experience and formal education, Hopfenspirger embarked on his own culinary journey, eventually establishing his two restaurants, which now occupy the very space that once housed one of the original Gunther Toodyʼs.

Zig Zag embodies New American flair, offering an array of burgers, sandwiches, salads and entrees complemented by craft cocktails and house-made sodas. The ambiance exudes modern elegance with warm leather accents and an inviting bar. On the flip side, Meatball Eatery beckons with a speakeasy charm, boasting prohibition-style libations amidst dim lighting and brick walls. But the fusion of these concepts wasn’t just strategic—it was born out of necessity. Hopfenspirger, alongside his brother Cole Hopfenspirger and wife Brittany Hopfenspirger, opened Zig Zag in August 2018 and Meatball Eatery the following November, only to face the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic in 2020.

“Zig Zag and Meatball Eatery started as two different restaurant concepts, totally walled off from one another with different entrances and all,” Hopfenspirger explains. “Then Covid happened and totally changed how we operated. We combined the two menus and brought the concepts together. This gives our guests a huge variety of menu options, cocktails and even different ambiances
to enjoy.”

Despite closures and uncertainties, the resilience of the team and unwavering community support saw them through, leading to a resurgence of success. Just when things were looking up, the family, the team and the restaurants were dealt another blow—the sudden death of co-owner Cole Hopfenspirger in January 2023. Once again, the family and team were forced to be steadfast.

From the iconic cheeseburger to the acclaimed chicken sandwich, the menu caters to every palate, while the nightly Supper Club offerings elevate the dining experience with signature entrees crafted from scratch. Don’t miss the create-your-own spaghetti and meatballs featuring four different house-made sauces and three different house-made meatballs all placed on a selection of pasta, risotto or vegetables. The bar program boasts an array of cocktails, blending seasonal favorites with classic concoctions, to imbibe with the meal.

“Our bar program is second to none in the Denver market,” Hopfenspirger says. “We only use fresh squeezed juices, house-made syrups and old-school bartending techniques.”

Find favorites like the Zig Zag Zombie, served flaming tableside; the Gypsy Tears, made
with Irish whiskey, Montenegro Amari, strawberry syrup and fresh lemon juice; and the Tequilan Me Smalls, served with tequila, Aperol, St. Germain, honey syrup, fresh orange juice and fresh lemon juice.

Amidst a sea of chain restaurants, Zig Zag and Meatball Eatery stand tall by prioritizing quality, creativity and familial warmth.

“It is tough being a small, family-owned restaurant but I wouldn’t change that for the world,” Hopfenspirger says. “We have a great staff at Zig Zag and Meatball, many of which have worked with us since the day we opened. Working with my managers and wife every day is very fulfilling, and we strive to deliver a wonderful dining experience to every guest that walks through our doors.”

While the loss of Cole Hopfenspirger has left a void, the legacy of resilience and community remains the driving force behind the Hopfenspirger’s continued success. So, the next time you find yourself craving a burger, zigzag your way to Zig Zag Smokin’ Burger and Meatball Eatery & Libations—where every bite tells a story.

Zig Zag Smokin’ Burger Meatball Eatery & Libations
9220 E. Arapahoe Rd.
Greenwood Village