Whataburger Colorado History

Whataburger operated locations in Colorado throughout the 1970s. They were under the supervision of a subsidiary “Whataburger of Colorado Inc.” similar to the California locations. Which means they were likely also under the Western World Foods Inc Franchise. This idea is further supported by the building design, all locations in Colorado use a building style exclusive to Western Foods.

The exterior of this building, and sign are all original. Thanks to @charlie__forsyth for getting this photo.

Whataburger’s Colorado stint is just as difficult to research as their California operations. Very little information that was published about the subject is available online. Some educated guesses I can make include that there were probably more locations, but not many more. Next the franchise probably didn’t extend outside of the Denver area. Finally the Colorado locations likely closed at the same time or before their California counterparts, in the late 70s to early 80s.

A similar location in Arizona which was also originally a Western Worlds franchise.

At this point in time Whataburger does not have plans to reenter the Colorado market, although new territory has been added in 2020. I was able to find confirmation that Whataburger Denver’s Softball team had an undefeated season in 1976 making it pretty far into the playoffs. So there’s that.

1335 Wadsworth Blvd, Lakewood, CO 80214Opened 1972 Now Taco House, exterior is unmodified including original sign
1505 S Federal Blvd, Denver, CO 80219Demolished 2001 for Walgreens location confirmed via platting/maps
523 Havana St, Aurora, CO 80010Now Little Panda mostly untouched
7195 Federal Blvd, Westminster, CO 80030Still Open 1975 Now Taco River Remodeled with some aesthetic updates
595 E 88th Ave, Thornton, CO 80229Still Open as Jim's Burger Haven similar menu, Typical Western World Franchise building design, slightly expanded, Thanks Melissa!


  1. I’m not finding the reason why they are not opening any in the Denver metro area. They will have 5 in Colorado Springs !!! Nobody is driving over a hour on I -25 to get a Whataburger !!!!

  2. I worked at the Western Worlds Whataburger on Fondren just north of Bellaire, next door to a Safeway, 1976-1978. It had been a Herfy’s, they got the locations when Herfy’s left town, so they had a distinctive look. Just some I know were Bissonnet east of Hillcroft, where Shepherd and Greenbriar split and Gessner north of Hammerly. I got fired when the lie detector said I knew who robbed the store (I didn’t) and that I wouldn’t tell.

  3. Whataburger is currently building in Colorado Springs on 1310 interquest pwky, opening by end of this year.

  4. In the late ‘70s, Whataburger was located in Thornton, CO on 88th Ave. Today the same basic building is Jim’s Burger Haven. I lived in an apartment complex nearby. As a Texan, it was a little piece of home to me.

    1. I remember Whataburger on North Speer Blvd across from Denver North High School 1966.
      We used to run across the street & buy burgers & take them back and eat in Home Economic Class.