When Pizzeria Locale opened its Denver location at the end of May, the question was: will there be more? The answer is yes and that forthcoming expansion comes with news that the team at Locale has a mega-giant partner: Chipotle Mexican Grill. Boulder-based master sommelier Bobby Stuckey and chef Lachlan Pattersonwho own Locale, as well as Frasca Food and Wine, have formally announced the partnership with the Colorado-born chain. Pizzeria Locale joins ShopHouse as an additional concept that provides future growth opportunities for Chipotle. The company operates six ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants in Washington, DC and Los Angeles with additional restaurants forthcoming.
"They have quietly been a mentor and a partner of ours through the building process of Locale Denver and now, as we get ready to expand, we are ready to make that information public," Bobby Stuckey says.
Where will be able to get the Neapolitan-inspired pie? There is no information on that yet. "We don't have any announcements on that yet. We are trying to secure some space but nothing has been signed yet. We are looking at certain neighborhoods that we like - the highlands, downtown, and others," Stuckey explains.
The operations team at Pizzeria Locale Denver, chef Jordan Wallace and manager Chris Donato, will lead the opening of any additional locations of the pie eatery. "With Jordan and Chris, there is a lot of fire power at Pizzeria Locale. Their main job is to train teams to be like them. This is something we have studied with Chipotle for the last eighteen months. We have traveled around the country with Steve [Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle] - along with Jordan and Chris- from Chicago to Ohio to other places to learn how to train people and build a team," Stuckey revealed.
As for a timeline, Stuckey says that team-wise, they are ready to open another location. The oven, a custom-made contraption that has been extensively tested by the pizza-makers at Pizzeria Locale, will take around three to four months to build, but the biggest hurdle is signing a lease.
Earlier this year, the team behind Locale has rolled out this video that explains its history, vision, and philosophy.
The full press release is below.
Concept brings Chipotle's service style and commitment to high-quality ingredients to Neapolitan-style pizza
DENVER, December 18, 2013 – Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) has partnered with restaurateurs Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson to launch a fast causal pizza concept called Pizzeria Locale. The first restaurant is located in Denver and is based on a full-service pizzeria by the same name located in Boulder, Colo. Pizzeria Locale opened its first fast casual location in partnership with Chipotle in May and is exploring options for second and third locations in Denver.
Pizzeria Locale offers a menu that includes 10 classic pizzas, four American classics, or customer-created combinations from a selection of high-quality ingredients presented in an interactive service line. Pizzas are then fired in a high-temperature pizza oven that bakes the pizzas in less than two minutes. The restaurant also serves salads and sides including prosciutto and meatballs. Red or white Italian wine is available on tap.
The original Pizzeria Locale in Boulder opened in 2011 and was created by Frasca Food and Wine founders Stuckey, a master sommelier, and executive chef Mackinnon-Patterson. The full-service restaurant is a contemporary pizzeria inspired by the traditional pizzerias of Naples, Italy. The new Denver restaurant draws from the same inspiration. It also draws from a commitment to premium ingredients and an interactive service format similar to Chipotle.
"Bobby and Lachlan are extraordinary restaurateurs who truly understand what it takes to provide an exceptional dining experience," said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle. "I have known them for years and I thought their pizzeria in Boulder presented the perfect opportunity to collaborate. Opening Pizzeria Locale using a model similar to Chipotle allows us to make extraordinary pizza, made with high-quality ingredients accessible to everyone."
"Steve has been a friend for 10 years, and for many of those years we have talked about collaborating on something. With Pizzeria Locale, we found a project we were all passionate about and we couldn't be happier than to have a partner in Chipotle that shares our vision of making our pizza accessible to more people," said Patterson. "We have always admired Chipotle's pursuit of the best ingredients, its commitment preparing food using classic cooking techniques, and their understanding of what it takes to create a great restaurant experience. Through this partnership, we can continue to run Pizzeria Locale with the same energy and passion we've always had, but can also look to Chipotle to help with some of the challenges that can become distracting for a restaurateur."
Pizzeria Locale's contemporary design features dark woods, white tiled floors and walls, marble accents on tables and the pizza-making station, a special dough room that holds dough at a consistent 72-degrees and a humidity level that mimics Naples on a spring day, and a custom-developed pizza oven that cooks pizzas perfectly in under two minutes.
Pizzeria Locale joins ShopHouse as an additional concept that provides future growth opportunities for Chipotle. Chipotle currently operates six ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants in Washington, DC and Los Angeles with additional restaurants opening in the coming months.
"While both Pizzeria Locale and ShopHouse are exciting concepts, it's important to remember that our growth will continue to be driven for the foreseeable future by expanding the Chipotle brand within the U.S." said Steve Ells.
Plans for growing Pizzeria Locale call for slow, measured expansion that allows the restaurant to perfect the concept and service model, and to develop from within the people it will need to staff additional restaurants. Stuckey and Mackinnon-Patterson's other ventures, Frasca Food and Wine and the original Pizzeria Locale in Boulder, Colo., are not part of this partnership and are not affiliated in any way with Chipotle.
For additional information, contact: Chris Arnold, Chipotle Mexican Grill, 303.222.5912, firstname.lastname@example.org or Sarah Abell, Baltz and Company, 917.584.8567, email@example.com.
· The Space, Menu, and Details: Pizzeria Locale Opens in Denver Tomorrow [EDen]
· Pizzeria Locale Denver: Different than Boulder, Yet Attractive [EDen]
· Pizzeria Locale Denver Gets High Praises from Westword [EDen]