When Tricia and Sam Maher moved to Denver from New York City six years ago, they didn't know they'd someday open a restaurant. But both had a history of working in high-end hospitality, and that experience led them to open vegan eatery Somebody People together in 2019.
The restaurant, at 1165 South Broadway, quickly gained a following — and was our pick for Best Vegan Restaurant in both 2021 and 2022. Now the Mahers are doubling down with Everyday Pizza, which opened August 2 at 2162 Larimer Street in the Ballpark neighborhood.
Like Somebody People, Everyday Pizza is vegan, though you'd never guess it at first glance. The menu makes no mention of being vegan, and when the Mahers and their staff talk about the concept, they simply say it's "vegetable-forward." But everything on the menu is, indeed, plant-based — and almost all of it is plants. You won't find any overly processed meat substitutes or tofu — just a lot of whole foods simply dressed and cooked to enhance their natural flavors.
Chef Art Burnayev started working in restaurants for the money and the atmosphere, not necessarily for the food. "I just needed a job," he says. "When kids are young, working in a restaurant with so many young people...it’s a fun environment — a fast-moving dynamic with people your age, and you’re around food, running around like a crazy person."
The party atmosphere that Burnayev enjoyed is still very present at Everyday People, but his skills and passion have grown over the years. "With time, you see multiple restaurants," he explains. "For me, I saw that I can do things better when I worked at a restaurant with a farm in it in New Jersey. I didn’t know tomatoes from the garden could taste so good, because everything in most restaurants were packaged and frozen, but I could never go back."
This approach influences every dish at Everyday Pizza, from the pizza to the appetizers. Vegetables shine as the star of every dish, elevated by housemade pastas and dough. If you order the onion pizza, for example, you get onion five different ways, including sliced green and red onions and roasted cipollini, all highlighted by the sweetness of the vincotto (cooked wine) sauce that tops it.
The pizza oven has both gas and wood fire components, which serves a dual purpose, allowing the team to both char pies and roast veggies beautifully. The technique gives the produce an interesting flavor, according to Bernayey. "I take pride in cooking whole vegetables without substitutions," he says. "It's very simple: If you order the cabbage, you’re going to get a [quarter] cabbage, braised, roasted and charred."
The same goes for the carrots, which come from a farm in Lakewood. Roasted "with a little bit of magic love, herbs, garlic, lemon juice and vinegar, you’ll say you’ve never had carrots like this before," Burnayev declares. "It’s the most simple way to make things, but it’s the most unique way."
Like the carrots, most of the vegetables used at Everyday Pizza come from local farms, so the menu is very seasonal and will change depending on the availability of produce.
"What inspires me for ice cream is making plant-based versions that aren’t available and trying new stuff, like basil or pickled peach — things that I want to eat," says Reyes. As with the food, seasonal and local ingredients are used as much as possible. Along with creative ice cream flavors like mole and pink peppercorn, Reyes is also making some more traditional Italian desserts, like tiramisu and cannoli.
A decadent wine and cocktail list (complete with zero-proof options) rounds out the menu.
At Somebody People, music is a big part of the ambience, especially on Friday and Saturday nights, when it hosts live DJ sets. The same is true at Everyday Pizza — even the name is a reference to the song "Everyday People," by Sly and the Family Stone. "With our new space and the vibrancy of it, we’d really like to pick up on the event side, as well," says Tricia Maher.
Murals by local artist Lio-Bravo Bumbakini add to the energetic atmosphere and give the dining room the feeling of a club. "Music has always been a part of Somebody People. Here we’ve got a fun music program evolving, and we’re definitely going to be having DJs within the space and late-night parties," Maher concludes.
Everyday Pizza is located at 2162 Larimer Street and is open 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4 p.m. to midnight Friday through Sunday. For more information, visit weareeveryday.pizza.