Pizza is controversial. Don’t believe me? Ask your friends, on a platform like Facebook, if they think pizza crust should be thin or thick. And if you really want to stir the marinara, ask if they think pizza should be folded when eaten.
These are the kinds of discussions we love at HeidiTown, so I was excited when First National Bank asked if I’d write an article in honor of National Pizza Month. Pizza and tacos are foods I could eat every day so of course, I said, “Yes, yes, yes!”
A Slice of New Jersey in Greeley
Meet Justin Vogel. He and business partner Mark Eskow know pizza. Eskow hails from New Jersey where babies are born with a folded slice in their hand. Justin and Mike wanted to open a restaurant and were both sure that it should be a pizza joint. After all, pizza is their favorite food and they know the subject well.
The two men researched their way through hundreds of pies all across the country during their work in oil and gas. They also had a pizza oven in their apartment so when they weren’t eating pizza they were making pizza (and then eating their creations).
Their passion turned into Right Coast Pizza. In 2012, the first Right Coast Pizza opened in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, where Mike now holds the reins.
“My dad kept telling me how great Greeley’s downtown had become,” says Justin who was born and raised in Greeley. “I’d been away for years, but when I finally experienced downtown for myself, I was blown away. After visiting downtown, Mike and I sat down with the Downtown Development Authority to chat.”
The rest, as they say, is history. Even though a second store wasn’t in the plan, Right Coast Pizza opened in Greeley’s downtown on July 4, 2015.
At Right Coast Pizza guests can carry out a pie, but the comfy ambiance and 31 beers on tap may entice them to sit down for a meal. In fact, this Greeley restaurant features lunch specials and that makes it popular around noon.
While thin crust, Jersey-style pizza is the thing at Right Coast Pizza, this doesn’t mean that toppings are only cheese and pepperoni. In fact, the only real rule at Right Coast Pizza is “keep it fresh.”
There aren’t any heat lamps keeping oily pies warm here. In fact, even the slices are made on the spot, which means you may wait two or three minutes longer, but a fresh slice of pizza is worth it. In addition, they source locally even when it comes to things they need to be done around the restaurant.
“It’s important that even when I need a tradesperson for home or for the store, that person is from Greeley and usually a customer,” says Justin, who lives three minutes from the restaurant.
Justin’s love for Greeley is palpable, and he wants everyone who lives in the vicinity to realize what downtown offers.
“It provides everything from an independent movie theater with a speakeasy downstairs to family-friendly festivals like Friday Fest,” he says.
Not Just Cheese
This Greeley pizza restaurant has gone way beyond the East Coast’s love of simple, cheese pizza. Justin created a pizza featuring pulled pork, barbecue sauce, and pineapple and it has become a customer favorite. Right Coast Pizza even has a specialty pizza with bacon, green chilis and an egg on top—all my favorite things on one pizza.
The reaction from Greeley, which has swelled to a population of more than 100,000, has been positive. In fact, in response to a “favorite pizza” question I posted on HeidiTown’s Facebook page, Right Coast Pizza was mentioned several times.
While there are a few salads and calzones available on the menu, it’s mostly just pizza and that’s purposeful. Justin doesn’t want to hear someone say, “I like their wings, but I don’t like their pizza.”
“We are a pizza restaurant and we decided early on at Right Coast Pizza to do what we do best and that’s making great pizza,” says Justin.
It’s a great motto for life—do what you do best and support others who are doing what they do best. That being said, I can attest, from personal experience, that Right Coast Pizza is very good at making great pizza.
This post was brought to you by First National Bank of Omaha as part of their We Grow As One campaign.
#WGAO #NationalPizzaMonth #SupportLocal
“At First National Bank of Omaha, we know that growth in the community starts with growth in the local economy. That’s why along with our commitment to the communities we serve, we strive to be the best bank possible for our business customers. Join us in supporting the community and the people behind the businesses in our community.”