Maid-Rite, the loose-meat sandwich chain famous throughout the Midwest, is slowly rebuilding its following in Colorado through its new Centennial franchise.
The first restaurant opened in Muscatine, Iowa, in 1926, and franchises soon spread like wildfire across the Midwest. Maid-Rite formerly had a presence in Colorado, but the state had gone without a location for years before the Centennial restaurant opened in 2011. The fan base is growing as more and more people are introduced — or reintroduced — to the chain’s menu.
“It’s picking up as we get more and more people exposed to Maid-Rite,” said Dewey Burton, owner of the Centennial store at 7470 A-1 S. University Blvd. near the intersection with Dry Creek Road.
Burton said it’s common for people to come into his restaurant and tell stories of skipping high school in the 1940s to get lunch at Maid-Rite. He’s trying to attract a newer generation, as well, adding a sports-viewing aspect to the traditional diner atmosphere. The Centennial Maid-Rite has seven televisions and is the only franchise in the country with a full bar.
“We are unique from the standpoint that we still have the diner theme, but we also are a sports diner,” Burton said.
Maid-Rite is known for its loose-meat sandwich, which consists of 100 percent prime Iowa beef with the same dry-seasoning originally developed in 1926. Colorado is an area targeted for franchise expansion, according to the company’s website, and a second restaurant in Aurora is scheduled to open in March.