Right Coast Pizza opens in Wheat Ridge with a Jersey slant

JustinVogel.jpg
Lori Midson
"I love pizza. No. I love pizza!" And to prove his declaration, Justin Vogel slams his elbows on the bar, revealing a wrist-to-elbow jet-black tattoo inked with the word "pizza."

Point taken.

Vogel and his business partner, Mark Eskow, turned their passion for pizza into a restaurant, opening Right Coast Pizza last week in Wheat Ridge in a former church, which the two spent eight months gutting. "It was really rough when we walked in -- there wasn't much more than bricks and birds living in here," recalls Vogel, an Oklahoma native who moved to Denver a few years ago.

"I come from a bar, restaurant and club scene, and Mark comes from Jersey and pizza shops," says Vogel, adding that he and Eskow began hatching plans to build a pizza joint several years ago while working together in the oil fields in Grand Junction. "We were splitting residency between Denver and Grand Junction, but we knew we wanted to open a place in Denver, so we spent quite a bit of time looking for a space, and when we stumbled upon this, we grabbed it."

RightCoastpizzainterior.jpg
Lori Midson
The space, painted mustard yellow, boasts original artwork -- oils of downtown Denver -- a fireplace, weathered hardwoods, a garage door that opens to limited patio seating, wooden tables and a cherry bar, the back of which is stocked with spirits, sodas and beers, all of which are from Colorado. "There's just way too much that Colorado offers not to feature all Colorado sodas, beers and spirits," says Vogel. "I'm proud of our state and proud of this neighborhood, and our goal is to represent Colorado as much as possible."

And that includes wines, too...if only he could get them. "I'd have all Colorado wines if I could, but I'm having a helluva time getting a rep who will deliver them to me," he laments. He reveals, too, that in the future, he'd like to have local keg wines along with expanded beer handles, although the current lineup -- brews from Left Hand, New Belgium, Ska and Coors -- isn't bad at all. "The most difficult thing," says Vogel, is "finding wines to pair with our food -- we're picky about that."

RightCoastPizzapizza.jpg
Lori Midson
And he and Eskow are picky about their brick-oven pizzas, as well. "I think I've probably eaten at every pizza place in this town, and ours rises above," Vogel insists. "It's Jersey-style pizza with a thin crust -- I don't like 'bread' with my pizza -- and our ingredients are top-quality and extremely fresh." They make their own dough, top their Hawaiian pizza with fresh pineapple and honey-baked ham, use fresh roasted chiles on their sausage pizza, and make the sausage in-house.

And so far, says Vogel, the response has all been positive. "It's been amazing. We've had a ton of repeat customers, some of whom -- I kid you not -- have come in three or four times within the span of one day. It's been really awesome."

Right Coast is open daily for lunch and dinner, and while the joint also does housemade desserts, including whoopie pies, cookies and cannolis, the best parting gift of all may be the custom-made fortune cookies, which conceal slips of paper with pizza wisdom. Mine said, "Pizza and beer just go hand in hand."

I'll toast to that.

Location Info

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Right Coast Pizza Company

7100 W. 38th Ave., Wheat Ridge, CO

Category: Restaurant

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7 comments
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Manfrenjensen
Manfrenjensen

I hope these guys have all kinds of success in "The Sweet Ridge"... however, it is a bit of an odd location.  The building was a dry cleaner before it was a "church," and it's located directly across the street from a middle school -- I'm just glad they were able to get a liquor license!  Frankly, the bike mechanics at Wheat Ridge Cyclery might be enough to keep a decent pizza pub in business.  But I hope this is the first step in the revitalization of a fairly barren stretch of W. 38th Ave -- since the closure of Valente's (and Marc's even before that), the only thing with the faintest pulse between Red Tango and Jimmy's Chalet has been Cebiche, and I don't know how much longer that one will be able to hold on.  Good luck, Justin & Mark!

Jon S
Jon S

I stopped in tonight after picking some things up at Wheat Ridge Cyclery. It's really a fantastic place, and it was most definitely packed. Hopefully between Right Coast and Cebiche there will be enough critical mass to attract even more redevelopment along this stretch of 38th.

Jerry
Jerry

Cebiche is doing great and I think they will be there for years to come.

Kerry
Kerry

I will take that bet Mayor.. Er I mean Jerry. The place was almost DOA. I have not seen more than 5 cars parked there since they have opened.

Terry
Terry

You must be one of those that only drives by in the affternoon. Cebiches entire parking lot is packed most Friday and Saturday nights. The thing that is wrong with Wheat Ridge are all the people that are negative like yourself. If you think Wheat Ridge will never prosper then you have another thing coming. I think the negative nellies should just move to Arvada so they can continue their negative outlook.

Terry
Terry

The Pizza Rocks!!! Try not to forget to check out the First Friday and 2nd Saturday art walk including The Art Loft above Cebiche, Ed Slack Gallery next to A1, Treasures from the Chickencoop office tower next to Cebiche and Right Coast Pizza. May 4th is first friday from 6:00pm - 10:00pm

American Cleric
American Cleric

 Terry,Thanks for the info --I had no idea that li'l olde Wheat Ridge had a walk!

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