Marco's Pizza opens new downtown location, expects more growth in Colorado Springs

By Ned Hunter Updated: August 20, 2013 at 12:06 pm • Published: August 19, 2013 | 5:45 pm 0

It's not hard to find pizza in Colorado Springs.

From big chains like Domino's and Pizza Hut to the smaller, locally owned enterprises that include Borriello Brothers and Poor Richard's Restaurant, it seems there's a pizza joint on every block.

Craig Cheatham thinks there's a place for even more.

In October 2011, Cheatham opened his first Marco's Pizza restaurant at 9420 Briar Village Point in northern Colorado Springs. Less than a year later, he opened a second location at 4492 Austin Bluffs Pkwy., and he opened the doors Saturday on a third restaurant, at 12 S. Tejon Street.

He has plans to open a fourth and fifth location somewhere in the Rockrimmon and Monument areas within the next four years.

"We think there is room for everyone here," said Cheatham.

His new shop is down the block from Poor Richard's, Borriello Brothers and Old Chicago, and right across from Il Vicino Wood Oven Pizza. No matter, Cheatham said. What is served at Marco's, a Toledo, Ohio-based company, is different from the pizzas served by his neighbors.

Il Vicino, for example, serves a Neapolitan style pie, served uncut on what is similar to pita bread. The restaurant also serves non-traditional gourmet toppings. Borriello Brothers offers a New York-styled ultra thin crust pizza, the kind many diners fold once or twice before eating, Cheatham said.

Marco's Pizza is neither thin crust nor Chicago deep-dish, but has a medium thickness crust served with traditional toppings, like pepperoni.

"Pizza is a very individual taste and both pizzas are very different from us and each other," said Cheatham, whose restaurants have won several awards in the Gazette's "Best of the Springs" awards for two years in a row.

His newest location continues a theme; it's located in the former New Jersey Pizza Cafe that was owned by George Will, who died suddenly at around age 40.

Cheatham said his downtown location will deliver to residents within a two-mile radius that includes parts of East Fillmore Street, Circle Drive and Constitution Avenue and into sections of Old Colorado City. He said he expects deliveries and pick-up orders to constitute about 60 percent of his overall business, despite having a nearly 650 square-foot dinning area.

He said he doesn't know the exact cost of opening the downtown location, but said it is likely in the six figures. That's because he had to replace nearly every piece of restaurant equipment within the building, including the pizza ovens.

The restaurant franchise employs about 20 people.

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Contact Ned Hunter: 636-0275.

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