First Look: Frasca crew will open Pizzeria Locale next Wednesday...with a one-of-a-kind oven

Locale1.jpg
All photos by Lori Midson.
Chris Donato, Lachlan MacKinnon-Patterson, Bobby Stuckey and Jordan "Bruiser" Wallace.

"We're the slowest movers ever," quips Bobby Stuckey. "We waited six years to do a remodel of Frasca and more than nine years to do something away from our little corner in Boulder." Stuckey, along with Chris Donato, Lachlan MacKinnon-Patterson and Jordan "Bruiser" Wallace, are the dream team behind Frasca Food and Wine, which opened almost a decade ago in Boulder. It's unsurpassed success was then followed by Pizzeria Locale, a Neapolitan-style pizzeria, which sits directly next door to the Friulan wonderland of foodstuffs, and, finally, after years of lusting on the part of Denverites, the foursome will open a second Pizzeria Locale in the Golden Triangle in Denver next Wednesday.

See also:
- Best Pizza - 2012 Pizzeria Locale
- Pizzeria Locale opening in Denver in the former Il Vicino space on Broadway
- 100 Favorite Dishes: Mais pizza from Pizzeria Locale

But don't expect a full-service, sit-down restaurant like Pizzeria Locale in Boulder -- and don't expect the same kind of vaulted wine roster either. And because of those marked differences between the two restaurants, there are some cranky opponents who claimed early on that the Denver outpost would be a "dumbed-down" version of the Boulder original, but according to the crew, that's not the case.

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"In Boulder, the food costs work; we can share a wine cellar, cutlery, glassware, the dish station, even managers, because Frasca is right next to us, but we don't have that luxury here," says Stuckey. "So we had a come-to-Jesus moment a while back and asked ourselves how do we do a great restaurant with great ingredients and the same Neapolitan-style pizzas -- but not be a white tablecloth pizzeria? We asked ourselves what we'd have to give up."

If frivolities like a host stand, three POS machines, the absence of servers and starched white tablecloths are what encourage you to go to dinner, than, yes, you'll be cranky, because those don't exist here, but the unassailable product quality remains the same: "We're absolutely not cheapening our products, and the pizzas here capture the same sentiment as the pizzas at Locale in Boulder, insists Stuckey.

And, echoes MacKinnon-Patterson, exec chef of Frasca, in some ways, the pizzas, which are categorized into "Italian Classics," "American Classics" and "Create Your own," could be even better, thanks to a one-of-a-kind, gas-fired oven coupled with a seventy-degree, temperature- and humidity-controlled dough-proofing room commanded by Wallace, the chief pizzaiolo at Locale in Boulder, who will spend a significant amount of time in Denver.

Location Info

Pizzeria Locale

550 Broadway Blvd, Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant


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13 comments
TheJeff
TheJeff

I'm torn.  The pies look great, and these guys have proven themselves to have the highest of standards.  Still, it's hard to reconcile a gas-powered rotating oven, american-style and make-your-own pizza, sliced pies, and a single keg wine with the notion that they're not dumbing it down at all.  I wish them all the success with this "Locale Lite" speedy version for the masses, and I will be the first in line to try it, but I do hope eventually they have enough confidence in the Denver market to offer the real deal too.

Gary Gutowski
Gary Gutowski

Peter, you are right. I shouldn't have made such a statement. I can't wait to try a pie.

Peter Hunziker
Peter Hunziker

How can you make such a comment when Pizzeria isn't even open yet?

Bagwhan
Bagwhan

On the last page (and on page 4), there's a picture that shows two full pies and one lonely slice.  Since when are their pizzas cut into slices?  Are these pizzas somehow different than the ones in Boulder, that they can't or won't cut into slices?

Bagwhan
Bagwhan

@TheJeff Well, they also dumbed the price down, so there's that.

Bagwhan
Bagwhan

@Gary Gutowski I just looked them up, and it sure looks like a good place (whether it's better or not, I don't really care).  But I also looked at a map, and goddam, I'm never going to eat there!  I can't ever see myself heading out that way...

LoriMidsonCafeSociety
LoriMidsonCafeSociety moderator editor

@Bagwhan You're right: The pizzas in Boulder are served whole; at the Denver location, you can order them sliced.

TheJeff
TheJeff

@Bagwhan @TheJeff Yes, there is that.  An article in The Post says the pies are also somewhat smaller than at the Boulder location (which, to reference your other comments, renders them less "soupy" in the middle and thus more sliceable).

TheJeff
TheJeff

@Bagwhan A-Town is indeed VERY good.  I happen to work very close to it, or I'd never go either!

Bagwhan
Bagwhan

@LoriMidsonCafeSociety @Bagwhan Lori, are the pizzas noticeably different?  Because for the pizzas I have had in Boulder, slicing wasn't really all that feasible, as they were kind of soupy/soggy (but totally delicious!) in the middle.

LoriMidsonCafeSociety
LoriMidsonCafeSociety moderator editor

@Bagwhan @LoriMidsonCafeSociety No, they're the same -- and while I wouldn't have mine sliced - in Boulder or Denver - there are those who do want that, so the staff is going to accommodate those requests.

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