On Tuesday night, we shared the worst-kept secret in town:Chipotle Mexican Grill partnered with the founders of Frasca Food and Wine
, Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, to bring a fast-casual version of Boulder's Pizzeria Locale to Denver -- and maybe one day, the rest of the world. After all, there are now more than a thousand outlets of Chipotle, which got its start on East Evans Avenue twenty years ago. But for the moment, the partners are focusing on opening a couple more Pizzeria Locale stores in metro Denver. As theWall Street Journal
describes the start of the collaboration in a story titled "Pizzerias try to apply the Chipotle formula":
After opening Frasca almost 10 years ago, Messrs. Mackinnon-Patterson and Stuckey opened the sit-down pizzeria in 2011 with waiters, a large menu of Neapolitan pizzas and a well-researched wine list.
"When I walked in, I thought, 'Oh my gosh, what if they did this in a Chipotle format?' " says Steve Ells, Chipotle chairman and CEO and a longtime friend and Frasca customer.
The comments have been coming faster than the pizzas coming out of that special oven at the Pizzeria Locale at 550 Broadway -- more than 250 at last count. They range from a simple "yum" to pleas to bring the concept to their cities. (Read them here.) And then there's this from Ryan Beeler:
Pizza from Chipotle?!?!? oh my god! this has the potential to be one of the greatest things this country has ever done, next to women's suffrage and the civil rights movement and stuff, but other than that....
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We're not sure the partnership deserves a spot in civics textbooks, but it definitely ranks as one of the ten biggest restaurant stories of the year. What else would you put on the list? What were the most important developments on the Denver dining scene in 2013?