The last time we wrote about comedian George Lopez, he’d caused quite the stir at the 2017 Carousel Ball, where he ultimately walked off the stage after a less-than-crowd-pleasing stint as the emcee of the high-priced fundraiser for children’s diabetes. Although eyewitnesses all agreed on that much, accounts of the rest of the night varied, much like versions of the latest George Lopez effort to hit Denver: the launch of his delivery-only tacos on June 8.
Like Wiz Khalifa before him, Lopez partnered with ghost kitchen company Nextbite for his foray into the culinary world. Founded in 2017 by Alex Canter, whose family owns the famed Canter’s Deli in Los Angeles, Nextbite is headquartered in Denver and has a kitchen that opened in 2019 in the former Zengo space at 1610 Little Raven Street. Nextbite’s arrival in Denver was part of one of the biggest local food stories of 2019, the proliferation of delivery services — which, in hindsight, was an ominous sign of things to come.
Nextbite generally partners with local restaurants that can fulfill orders for any of Nextbite’s portfolio of delivery-only dishes — like Monster Mac, Grilled Cheese Society and Mother Clucker — as a way to add an additional revenue stream. Having a well-known name like George Lopez behind one of these delivery-only brands will certainly help Nextbite’s restaurant partners in the over eighty locations where it operates nationwide: cities like Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, Miami, San Francisco and Seattle.
“I’m excited for people across the country to have the chance to taste my favorite recipes delivered directly to their door,” said George Lopez in a press release announcing the news. “I really love that Nextbite is helping small businesses like local family-owned restaurants bring in more revenue and thrive by fulfilling the orders for George Lopez Tacos.”
That’s a nice sentiment at a time when restaurants are recovering from massive revenue losses stemming from the pandemic. But it doesn’t ring true in Denver.
As it turns out, George Lopez Tacos orders in the Mile High are being fulfilled by Nextbite without the help of any local restaurants. “Because there’s such demand for George Lopez Tacos in Denver,” explains Lisa Hendrickson of LCH Communications, the media contact for Nextbite, “its own kitchen is continuing to fulfill orders for the tacos.”
So, no, you won’t be directly supporting small Denver businesses when you order the “badass” La Chingona and “badder-ass” La Más Cabrona tacos.
And that bites. Next!
Keep Westword Free… Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who’ve won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism’s existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our “I Support” membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.