Cafe Society

ZaZa's Pizzeria will soon start slinging slices near the University of Denver

Late last year, Pete Kallas, the owner of Steakhouse 10, the Athenian, Undici Ristorante and Greeks Gone Wild, a fast-casual joint in the DU 'hood, snapped up the digs of a former Fuhgidabowdit Pizzeria outpost -- directly next door to the Greek den -- which has sat dark for the past several months, the windows papered with a sign announcing the arrival of (another) frozen yogurt place.


As it turns out, while Kallas was sitting on the space, located at 2041 South University, Nova opened across the street, serving -- you guessed it -- frozen yogurt, and since frozen yogurt is at the bottom of the food chain, and its niche is beyond saturated, Kallas kicked the idea to the asphalt and chose, instead, to give DU students the kind of food that you want morning, noon, night and late-night: pizza. "It wasn't worth wasting my time on a frozen yogurt place, and there's a ton of competition around here, but the kids want pizza, and this is going to be one hip and cool pizza place that not only appeals to students, but to people in Observatory Park, Washington Park and Bonnie Brea," says Kallas, whose chef is from Italy.

And the New York-style pizzeria, the name of which is ZaZa's, will include much more than just pies and slices, promises Kallas: "We'll have fantastic, thin-crust pizzas, but we'll also have homemade pastas and calzones and some amazing sandwiches, and we're also making all of our bread in-house," he says. "Our chef is amazing," he adds.

And, so, too, insists Kallas, is the space, which will seat twenty. "It's a very cool, funky concept -- sort of Las Vegas-style -- with old-school brick, a little bit of flashiness, hip and cool chairs, an even cooler counter top, lots of red, and lots of intricate detail work."

And once Kallas opens this Zaza's, he'll branch out and open five more, all within Colorado. "The goal is to open at least five more here, and then eventually open some stores in Arizona," he notes. His partner in the ZaZa's project, Jordan Sherrill, has family in Arizona, and he and Kallas are intent on unleashing pizzerias near college campuses.

Kallas is also in the midst of getting the wheels of a Greek food truck spinning on the asphalt, an endeavor that he's been working on for several months. "We're doing a ton of catering, and the truck will be great for that, especially since we can cook from the truck's kitchen, which will make catering a lot easier," says Kallas, who hopes to have the truck rolling by next spring.

In the meantime, Zaza's Pizzeria will open sometime during the first week of October, tossing pizzas and hustling Italian food seven days a week, from 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and 10:30 to midnight, Thursday through Saturday. Kallas is also applying for a wine and beer license, and delivery will begin in November.

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Lori Midson
Contact: Lori Midson