The stained glass windows will stay. So will the proprietary meatball, sausage and red sauce recipes. But Angelo's Pizza is going to look and feel a lot different when its new owners reopen the Denver mainstay as Angelo's Taverna in August.
On March 1, Denver-area restaurant industry veterans Eric Hyatt and Craig Jones bought the restaurant, which had been run by the Laveo family for 39 years. They closed it on May 26 for a massive remodeling, which will take about three months.
"Their sales had been declining, but not because of the food," says Hyatt. "It was because of the décor and experience. The people who were going there were going back because of the nostalgic value. It needed a facelift and a lot of new energy there."
When it opens again, Angelo's will be a mix of old and new. "We didn't want just throw something else in there after forty years of being a family-run Denver institution," Hyatt explains. "We want to keep the nostalgic value of the décor and the feeling to a certain extent. But also to add some new options and to update it."
As a result, Hyatt plans to keep 85 percent of the menu intact, including the pizza dough recipe and many of the pasta dishes. But he will add some fresher pasta dinners, particularly with the ravioli, and "more modernized" pizza toppings.
He will also add a sixteen-foot bar and a lounge with keg wines, craft beers and cocktails on the side of the restaurant where the entrance was. "The anchor of the bar will be an oyster-shucking station, where we'll serve fresh and char-grilled oysters," he says.
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Hyatt will expand the back patio, add a patio out front (near Pablo's), create a banquet space in a back building formerly used as an office, install all-new kitchen equipment and upgrade the restrooms so that they are ADA compliant.
The stone archways, stained glass windows and the original sign out front will all stay, but the rest of the windows will be replaced and a new entrance will be added.
Hyatt, who will manage the front of the house at Angelo's, has been in the restaurant business for years, having worked as a bartender and server at Outback Steakhouse, the Soiled Dove, Elway's and the Pub on Pearl, among others. Jones was a manager at Outback and now owns both the Pub on Pearl and the Pub on Penn.