Aside from the chains that dominate late-night dining and a few unsung heroes serving drive-thru Mexican, the 3 a.m. snacking options in Denver are slim — even more so if you’re vegan. But now, even plant-based eaters can satisfy their nighttime hankerings, diving into warm plates of comfort food.
The menu is globally inspired and includes orange “chicken” and fried rice, “fish” fillet sandwiches with dairy-free cheese, crunchy tacos and spiralized veggie pasta with an Indian flare. Combo #5 covers breakfast, with vegan eggs and sausage served alongside whipped cream-topped pancakes. You also get your choice of real-fruit smoothie, with flavors like the Cantaloupe Titan, a tropical blend of mangos, melons and chia seeds.
Before starting his own business venture, Waquim Filsaime, 25, most recently worked as a district manager for Denny’s. His other previous employers include Wingstop, Taco Bell and Kneaders Bakery & Cafe. While learning the ins and outs of fast-food restaurant management, Filsaime attended Strayer University, studying business administration and human resources.
According to Dobbs, Filsaime selected Mile High Food Club as the business’s first establishment because “it seemed like a good location for people that are out late partying or at bars.” Found at 2171 South Grape Street, Filsaime Flavors will be the only 24/7 eatery at the food marketplace concept, which also houses a dozen more takeout and delivery restaurants.
“We’re really pushing the smoothies, using those as marketing,” says Dobbs. He goes on to explain that vouchers for free smoothies will be provided to schools with the purpose of awarding good grades. He continues, “Our list of schools ranges about fifty different schools,” including the University of Denver.
“We’re hoping to expand really fast, and our big milestone is this first restaurant. We’re doing as much marketing as we can for this first one, and hopefully, it makes [opening] the other ones pretty smooth,” Dobbs says. The expansion plans are indeed ambitious, with Filsaime Flavors “projected to have 24 more openings across the United States by the end of 2023,” Dobbs notes. Targeted cities include Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Portland, Charlotte and Miami, among others.
“As more people are looking to be vegans and vegetarians, I think [Filsaime Flavors is] appealing to a lot of new people and will bring in a lot of business,” Dobbs says. “We do have a lot of competition in those spaces,” he admits of the cities its planning to opening in, “but I think, when we do break into those spaces, it will give us a lot of grasp into the market.”