East Colfax pizza legend will close if a buyer doesn’t appear

TDP Z EnzosEndPizzaJohnWenzel 01 e1702053950323

Enzo’s End could close this month on East Colfax Avenue. (John Wenzel/The Denver Post)

New York-style pizza restaurant Enzo’s End is closing this month after nearly three decades of slinging pies on East Colfax Avenue.

Unless, that is, a buyer emerges for the longtime neighborhood joint.

“The feedback has been overwhelming and emotional,” owner and founder Charlie Puma told The Denver Post. “I started calling our best, long-term customers, but only got through the first few on the list. I couldn’t take hearing their disappointment.”

Puma needs a change of scenery after looking out the same window on Colfax for 28 years; he’s cooked every pie for the last 18 months and his only other employee is a delivery driver.

Despite setting June 30 as the closing date, Puma is hoping to find a buyer for the name and recipes. He recently floated a $20,000 price on Facebook — or less than six weeks of revenue, he said. His landlord, PS Lounge owner Pete Siahamis, has been very good to him over the years, Puma said, with fair rent and a great working relationship. Enzo’s shares a door with the esteemed, cash-only dive bar (which hands out roses to all female guests).

“The property taxes are ridiculous, but he can’t fix that,” Puma said. “Pete would like to see someone take over the space and carry on the Enzo’s tradition.”

A buyer could potentially move to a food truck or another location, he added. “They need to have more technology and social media skills than I do. My old-fashioned phone and credit card methods are labor-intensive. Hiring people in Denver is very costly.”

Known for its thin-crust pies and laundry list of toppings, Enzo’s predated East Colfax’s revival as a pedestrian thoroughfare in what’s known as the Bluebird District (named after the nearby Bluebird Theater). Its cozy dining room and aging storefront have long doubled as a kitchen for the PS Lounge, where bar patrons can order and eat Enzo’s pizzas and salads.

The announcement comes as several major upgrades are planned for East Colfax, including a public transportation project that will likely last for years.

“The start of the Colfax BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) project was probably the last straw,” Puma said. “I’m thinking that three years of construction, parking limitations, access issues, brutal traffic and finally a BRT station right in front of the shop is not to my liking.”

BRT is a bus service that incorporates elements of light rail, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation, including stations, pre-purchased tickets and more frequent stops. Crews are scheduled to begin construction later this year.

“But if Elon Musk sends me an Optimus robot, I will help train it to make pizzas,” Puma said. “We can livestream the whole thing, disasters and all.”

This story was originally published by The Denver Post, a BusinessDen news partner.

TDP Z EnzosEndPizzaJohnWenzel 01 e1702053950323

Enzo’s End could close this month on East Colfax Avenue. (John Wenzel/The Denver Post)

New York-style pizza restaurant Enzo’s End is closing this month after nearly three decades of slinging pies on East Colfax Avenue.

Unless, that is, a buyer emerges for the longtime neighborhood joint.

“The feedback has been overwhelming and emotional,” owner and founder Charlie Puma told The Denver Post. “I started calling our best, long-term customers, but only got through the first few on the list. I couldn’t take hearing their disappointment.”

Puma needs a change of scenery after looking out the same window on Colfax for 28 years; he’s cooked every pie for the last 18 months and his only other employee is a delivery driver.

Despite setting June 30 as the closing date, Puma is hoping to find a buyer for the name and recipes. He recently floated a $20,000 price on Facebook — or less than six weeks of revenue, he said. His landlord, PS Lounge owner Pete Siahamis, has been very good to him over the years, Puma said, with fair rent and a great working relationship. Enzo’s shares a door with the esteemed, cash-only dive bar (which hands out roses to all female guests).

“The property taxes are ridiculous, but he can’t fix that,” Puma said. “Pete would like to see someone take over the space and carry on the Enzo’s tradition.”

A buyer could potentially move to a food truck or another location, he added. “They need to have more technology and social media skills than I do. My old-fashioned phone and credit card methods are labor-intensive. Hiring people in Denver is very costly.”

Known for its thin-crust pies and laundry list of toppings, Enzo’s predated East Colfax’s revival as a pedestrian thoroughfare in what’s known as the Bluebird District (named after the nearby Bluebird Theater). Its cozy dining room and aging storefront have long doubled as a kitchen for the PS Lounge, where bar patrons can order and eat Enzo’s pizzas and salads.

The announcement comes as several major upgrades are planned for East Colfax, including a public transportation project that will likely last for years.

“The start of the Colfax BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) project was probably the last straw,” Puma said. “I’m thinking that three years of construction, parking limitations, access issues, brutal traffic and finally a BRT station right in front of the shop is not to my liking.”

BRT is a bus service that incorporates elements of light rail, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation, including stations, pre-purchased tickets and more frequent stops. Crews are scheduled to begin construction later this year.

“But if Elon Musk sends me an Optimus robot, I will help train it to make pizzas,” Puma said. “We can livestream the whole thing, disasters and all.”

This story was originally published by The Denver Post, a BusinessDen news partner.

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