Jon Edwards, co-owner of Gaia Bistro, isn't particularly happy with the City and County of Denver. Edwards, along with his business partner, Patrick Mangold-White, had hoped to open Kaos, a little pizza operation in the small wedge of space at 1439 South Pearl Street that formerly held Nosh, by the end of May. But there have been problems with the city, laments Edwards, mostly due to the most integral part of the whole operation: a pizza oven: "The city won't give us a permit because they're not happy with our oven, but they won't tell us what they want us to do with the oven, so we have to just keep changing things and hope that we finally get it right."
In particular, the city is objecting to the oven's size."First we had a brick oven imported from Italy that we could put ten pizzas in, but that was too big," Edwards recounts, "so then we adjusted the size to accommodate eight pizzas and now we're working on an even smaller oven to see if that flies."
He and Mangold-White attempted to sell the city on an outdoor pizza oven on wheels, but according to Edwards, the city considered that an addition. And don't even get him started on the city's request for architectural drawings of the oven. "They asked for a mechanical breakdown of the oven; they wanted drawings, when usually all they need is a spec. It's always something," Edwards says.
If (and when) Kaos opens, it'll serve Neapolitan pizzas, salads, baked pastas and panini, all of which will either be delivered on Vespas or doled out on the patio, since that's where all 65 seats will be perched.
In the meantime, Edwards and Mangold-White are scouting South Pearl for a spot for yet another restaurant concept. "We're looking for a space where we can do a taco shack or Southwest-style Mexican food," Edwards told me.
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There's been some speculation that they might snap up the spot at 1570 South Pearl left open when Mulberries moved to 2027 East Colfax Avenue, but that's not the case, says Edwards. Instead, the former Mulberries spot will soon be occupied by Five Green Boxes, which will close its second, larger store at 1705 South Pearl. The original Five Green Boxes at 1596 South Pearl will stay put.