Sexy Pizza's plans to fight the drug war with a store ménage à trois
Co-owners Kayvan Khalatbari, engineer-turned-pizza-restaurateur, and chef Kyle Peters want to add a Highlands/LoHi location to their homegrown chain that got its start in Capitol Hill in 2009, and added a second store on Old South Pearl this past March.
Sexy Pizza's Hawaiian pie.
"We've already looked at two spots and are submitting a letter of intent today on one of them," says Khalatbari. "We plan on being open by the start of summer 2013 and plan on expanding what we do by incorporating a deli aspect to it, as well as potentially a comedy club."
A comedy club with Sexy's New York-style thin-crust pies? That's a funny idea.
And why is Highland the next stop?
"The greatest benefit for us moving into the Highlands area would definitely be our increased delivery area," says Khalatbari. "We have so many people that are just outside of the radius for the Cap Hill location, which cuts off at the railroad tracks on the west and northwest of downtown. This would allow us to extend that delivery area to I-70 north, Sheridan west and Colfax south while meeting our Cap Hill area boundary at those railroad tracks. It allows us to deliver to every part of the 'core' of Denver."
Work on a new location won't slow down Sexy Pizza's support of charitable causes--or its continuing advocacy of marijuana legalization, Khalatbari promises. "Concerning the MJ industry, first of all we're going to continue doing the donation pizzas," Khalatbari says. "I anticipate this year we will be close to $10,000 donated to these organizations and hopefully closer to $20,000 with the opening of the third shop and increased business at the South Pearl location. I'd also like to add a few more non-MJ pies: one for a local veteran's group, one for a local abused woman's shelter and another for a local animal rescue. It's always going to be about our community and the people that make it up.
"Other ways we support MJ," he continues, "and will continue to: We provide a 25 percent discount on deliveries to legal MMJ facilities and have expanded that into the non-profit realm by doing 50 percent off for local industry advocacy meetings and get-togethers that happen on a weekly basis around here."
Sexy Pizza is all about get-togethers. "Maybe the project I am most excited for is building an annual national competition held by Sexy Pizza and another company of mine, Denver Relief Consulting," Khalatbari says, pointing out that Denver Relief has clients in California, Arizona, Massachusetts and Vermont. "It will be a competition between small businesses across the country to see how creative they can be contributing to the end of the drug war in this country. We want to motivate people to get involved in activism through their businesses, just as they do as people. Whoever can be the most creative and successful raising money or awareness for the end of the drug war will receive a healthy financial benefit and others yet to be defined. We want to reward people for helping stop this 'war' that has ruined millions and millions of lives in this country. I think people will begin to see that supporting drug reform will not hurt your business as once thought....it can actually help it a great deal."
Make love, not war, fueled by Sexy Pizza. Khalatbari hopes to make that easier by creating "a marijuana friendly hotel in central Denver," he says.
And after that? "Highlands/LoHi are great neighborhoods with dense residential and plenty of foot traffic, really the two main factors that matter to us when scouting a new spot," he explains. "We want to have a solid footing in Denver before we move outside the city, which we may be doing for number four."
A Sexy Pizza foursome? it's highly possible that Sexy Pizza fans will be good, giving and game.