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Fast-Casual Pizza Keeps Expanding in Denver

And a classic is returning to its original name

Paul Karolyi

Watch out Pizzeria Locale Denver, there’s a new fast-casual pizza joint in town. The California-based Pieology Pizzeria is cooking up its first Denver location at 1147 Broadway next to the curiously named Zeps Epiq Sandwiches and BurgerFi. It will replace the recently shuttered NuHu Mongolian Express. It’s unclear when exactly the Golden Triangle Pieology is set to open its doors, but they are hiring now, so it shouldn’t be long.

Founded in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, in 2011, Pieology has expanded across the country at a breakneck pace. It was the fastest-growing restaurant chain in the country in 2015, according to the food consulting company Technomic, and it now boasts more than a hundred locations. The new Golden Triangle spot will be Pieology’s third in the Denver area, joining the three-year-old franchise in Lakewood and the one that opened last year in Centennial.

Pieology offers regular and gluten-free crusts, eight sauces and 40 different toppings. As is standard at these fast-casual pizza chains, customers order down the line Chipotle-style and the dough is stretched thin to minimize oven time. In Pieology’s case, each pizza is 11.5 inches in diameter and takes about three minutes to cook.

In other pizza news, the Georgia-based Your Pie, another order-down-the-line custom pizza spot, recently opened the doors to its first Colorado location at 14342 Lincoln Street in Thornton. Although the brick-oven fired pies are the star of the show, sandwiches, salads, gelato, and a selection of beer and wine are available as well.

MOD Pizza, another fast-casual pizza chain angling for a slice of the Front Range pie, has started hiring for its seventh Colorado location, opening soon at 6414 W. 104th Avenue in Westminster. There are no MOD Pizzas in Denver yet, but according to the company’s site, one is coming soon to the Northfield Stapleton mall.

Ballpark staple Racca’s Pizzeria Napoletana is changing its name back to Marco’s Coal-Fired Pizzeria. The family-owned restaurant opened as Marco’s in 2008 before swapping in 2015 when a similarly named Ohio chain came to Colorado. Marco’s is returning to its orange-and-white color scheme, and chef and co-owner Mark Dym has put together a few new dishes – three pizzas, two new antipasti dishes, and a salad – to spice up the restaurant’s re-birth.

You can try all the new dishes and revisit old favorites on Wednesday, August 9, from 5 to 10 p.m. Dym and the team are celebrating the name change and the pizzeria’s ninth birthday with craft beer tastings and outdoor games on the back patio. As an added incentive, all of Marco's specialty pizzas will be on sale for a mere $9 -- that's almost a 50% discount in most cases.