Food News

Coperta Team Takes Over Former Sazza Spot at Stanley Marketplace

Cacio e pepe will be one of the house specialties at the yet-to-be-named eatery coming to Stanley Marketplace.
Cacio e pepe will be one of the house specialties at the yet-to-be-named eatery coming to Stanley Marketplace. Linnea Covington
The team behind Coperta, Pizzeria Coperta and Beast + Bottle plans further expansion — to Stanley Marketplace in Aurora. Chef Paul Reilly and his partners, Aileen Reilly and JP Taylor, are taking over the space previously occupied by Sazza, which closed several months ago.

"We were approached soon after opening at Broadway Market," Reilly explains, noting that the new food hall and Stanley were developed by some of the same key players, so the opportunity felt like a good fit.

The chef says the new eatery will be a "modern Italian pizzeria" that will combine elements of the fast-casual Pizzeria Coperta counter at Broadway Market with the more upscale Coperta in Uptown. "It's going to be a mashup of both," he adds.

So expect Roman-style pizzas in both a thin-crust round pie and a thick-crust pizza al taglio, a Roman street-food specialty that's generally served from large, rectangular pans. "We'll also serve the triumvirate of Roman pastas: spaghetti cacio e pepe, rigatoni carbonara and bucatini all'amatriciana," Reilly notes.

While the team hasn't chosen a name for the new eatery yet, Reilly says the restaurant will be counter-service. "We're reconfiguring the space for better flow," he says, "but we're keeping the bar, so we'll have classic Italian cocktails on tap and the top reds from each Italian region. There's also a great patio that we're going to pay more attention to, and there will be a private room for rent, but also for wine tastings and classes."

Stanley's location at 2501 Dallas Street, on the border of Stapleton and Aurora, draws families for shopping and food, so the new pizzeria will definitely be family-friendly. "The kids will be happy eating the food, and the parents will feel comfortable in the space," the chef adds.

Siblings Paul and Aileen Reilly founded Beast + Bottle in 2013 on East 17th Avenue before launching Coperta a few blocks away in 2016. Partner JP Taylor has also been the group's longtime wine director. The trio added pizza to their repertoire with the opening of Broadway Market last February. Expect their latest effort to open this fall for lunch and dinner daily, with a full menu of pizza, pasta, antipasto, panini, salads and other Italian fare, with seating for about seventy guests inside.
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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation