It took a year to find the ideal space, but after an exhaustive search, Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan MacKinnon-Patterson, the nationally-renowned owners of Boulder-based Frasca Food and Wine, Pizzeria Locale and Caffe, have inked a deal to open a second Pizzeria Locale in Denver.
The 3,000-square foot, seventy-seat space is taking over the former Il Vicino plot at 550 Broadway (that outpost of Il Vicino now resides on South Gaylord Street), and the expansion to Denver, admits Stuckey, has been a long time in the making. "Our pizzaiolo, Jordan Wallace, lives in Denver, Denver has a great food scene, and we have a full squad that's been waiting a long time to open a restaurant in Denver," explains Stuckey, adding that Wallace and general manager Chris Donato, both of whom have been part of the Frasca/Pizzeria Locale since the very beginning, will oversee the Denver location.
"Both of these guys are Pizzeria Locale," Stuckey insists. "They've been with us since before we opened in Boulder, and they've created the culture.They're super-excited, and so am I."
Stuckey, who will also spend time at the Denver outpost, is still ironing out the details of the new restaurant, which, like its Boulder sibling, will focus on Neapolitan pizza, but he does reveal that this location will concentrate on "pizza that's more for all day, every day." He tells me, too, that he and Patterson chose that space -- and neighborhood -- because of several factors, including, he says, "accessibility from all parts of Denver, foot traffic, the number of businesses in the area and the fact that we think it'll be really busy at night -- and during the day."
Stuckey says that while the board is still being developed, several salads, along with plates of sliced prosciutto, will share space with the lauded wood-fired, thin-crusted pizzas that have developed a cult following, in part because of the 1,000-degree, Italian-made, behemoth Stefano Ferrara oven, constructed from volcanic rock culled from Mt. Vesuvius, that's front and center in the Boulder kitchen. "We're not sure about the oven in Denver," says Stuckey. "We're in the middle of working on that situation right now -- it's to be determined -- but I can tell you that it will be visible from the dining room."
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No matter: The Denver stage is set for some of the state's best pizza.