For better or for worse, fast food is a staple of the American lifestyle. 

Whether it’s independent places like Crown Burgers out in Denver, or chains like In-N-Out, fast food serves up some incredible meals. 

However, there’s a local spot in Fort Collins that has been serving up some of the unhealthiest, but most delicious, fast food in the entire state; Fat Shack

Along with being a favorite of college kids at Colorado State University, it has one of the most fascinating stories of any restaurant you’ll come across. 

Not only were its origins interesting, but it got a huge bump in popularity five years ago from its appearance on the popular TV show, Shark Tank. 

The Humble Beginnings of Fat Shack

Back in 2010, the original Fat Shack was opened by Tom Armenti for college kids at the College of New Jersey who desperately needed food late at night. 

It actually got started out operating from a bagel shop that would close midway through the day. At 6pm, it opened back up as Fat Shack, serving up truly wild offerings for college students looking for a late night snack until 4am in the morning. 

In 2011, it moved to Fort Collins because sharing the space with a bagel shop became too much of a burden to bear for Armenti. It became an immediate hit in the city. 

In 2015, due to the success of the first location, Fat Shack opened a second location in Denver next to the University of Denver campus. 

Fat Shack Appears on Shark Tank to Seek Even More Success

YouTube // Fat Shack
YouTube // Fat Shack
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Both Armenti and his business partner, Kevin Gabauer, went on to the hit TV show Shark Tank in 2019 to seek further investment in their company. They looked for a $250,000 investment for 7.5% of their business. 

According to Food Republic, they quickly needed to prepare the food before the pitch to present to the sharks. In a strange way, the crunch of getting the food ready made it so they didn’t have time to get nervous. 

What ensued was a truly legendary performance on the big stage in front of the sharks. In the end, they were able to get an investment of $250,000 from Mark Cuban, but had to concede 15% of the company to him. 

What Has Happened to Fat Shack Since Its Appearance on Shark Tank?

Yelp // J W.
Yelp // J W.
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As it would turn out, quite a bit of success. 

When the episode aired, they had over 3,000 inquiries for franchising across the country with the rising credibility of sealing the deal on the show. 

Now, there’s 29 different locations stretching from coast-to-coast in the United States. In 2023, they saw an estimated revenue of $17,543,000 in 2023. 

It’s safe to say that since going on Shark Tank, Fat Shack has become a favorite not only in Fort Collins where it got its start, but across the entire country. Now, multiple different college towns have a place for students to chow down late at night, a necessity for the many antics they get up to.

20 Colorado Restaurants That Would Be Perfect for Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

We know how much Guy Fieri loves visiting Colorado from all of the trips he’s made in the past, but we think it’s time he comes back to see the other options the state has to offer. 
We’ve compiled a list of 20 restaurants that have yet to be featured on Food Network’s hit show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Not only are these local favorites Guy Fieri would certainly love, but its places you should go out of your way to support as well.
If we missed your favorite local spot, make sure to let us know.

Gallery Credit: David Damuth

This Local Old School Burger Restaurant Is One Of The Best In Colorado

Since 1961, Jim's Burger Haven has been the standard for local smash burger restaurants around Colorado. Home of Colorado's "Original Smash Burger," it's a must-try next time you're in the area. Here's a look around one of Colorado's most famous burger joints.

Gallery Credit: Big Rob TSM

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