As an avid cyclist, Daniel Lewis is used to being on the move. When he first started the Flatbread Pizza Co., it was mobile as well, essentially a wood-burning pizza oven on wheels. Now, Lewis is just about to finish taking the next step forward and trading in the wheels (temporarily) for a physical restaurant location in Breckenridge.
Lewis and his family have been living in Breckenridge for the past three years. In that time, he has found success with Flatbread Pizza Co., catering his pizzas from place to place, anywhere from private to local events. To do this, Lewis hired a mason from Boulder to build his oven, bought a shell for it from Italy and put the entire thing on top of a trailer, which he pulled around with his car.
He wasn't content to stop there, however. After two years of planning, Lewis found a space he liked in Breckenridge and set about to making it into the restaurant he'd envisioned.
"We always wrote the business plan to include this," Lewis said.
Though he's put the catering aspect on hold during the shaping of the restaurant, Lewis said he plans to start it back up again once everything else is settled.
Finding just the right spot was a challenge, Lewis said, and he looked at places throughout the county. Finally, he found it - at the La Cima Mall at the southern end of Breckenridge's South Main Street. It has about 870 square feet of space and will sit up to 38 people. As it's at the end, there's patio space which will have tables and chairs when the weather warms up. The patio gives a sweeping view of the end of Main Street, as well as the towering Peak 8.
Inside, a bar with stools lined up against the window offers the same perspective in a warmer environment. The internal set up is intentionally open. Customers will have a clear view of the kitchen, particularly the Forno Bravo wood-fired oven, built by master mason Brian Scott of Boulder. The interior decor has a rustic look, including aspects of Lewis' passion for bicycles.
The walls' siding and bars are all made from pine beetle-kill trees harvested locally and the tabletops are made from reclaimed wood from a Portland, Ore., company. Lewis then called upon the skills of local craftsman Louis Bibeau of Inferno Metal Works. Bike gears make appearances throughout the restaurant - on the walls, on the tabletops, even in the pendant lights.
"I like to use the resources we have," Lewis said. "I like everything to have a story."
While the menu includes appetizers, salads and desserts, the main focus is, of course, the pizza. The dough is handmade and hand rolled, while the ingredients are fresh and locally grown whenever possible.
The wood that Lewis puts into his oven is fruit wood, both apple and peach, which add to the aroma and the flavor of the pizza within.
"There will be scent," he said. "It does give it a little more aroma and flavor."
Unlike his catering company, which was seasonal and only operated during the summer, Lewis said that the Flatbread Pizza Co. restaurant will be open year-round.
"We want to be supportive of locals," he said.
Everyone is welcome at the restaurant, from young athletic cycling enthusiasts to families with children.
The Flatbread Pizza Co. will celebrate its soft opening Friday, with an official grand opening planned for Feb. 28.