• Benzina is Denver restaurateur Brad Anderson’s first solo concept and features Neapolitan-style pizzas, pastas and entrees.
  • Benzina’s pizza dough is made with a custom blend of “00” flour, spelt, semolina and rye.

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Benzina, the first solo concept from Denver restaurateur Brad Anderson, opened today in a converted gas station on East Colfax Avenue in Denver. Anderson’s team includes Consulting Chef Brian Lockwood (Eleven Madison Park and Frasca Food & Wine) and Executive Chef Daniele Bolognini (Acorn) leading the kitchen.

The Italian-focused menu will incorporate local ingredients in seasonal salads, family-style appetizers, Neapolitan-inspired pizza, handmade pastas, larger protein entrees prepared in a Mibrasa charcoal oven, and desserts. The beverage menu features cocktails, local brews and wines by the glass and bottle.

Benzina’s pizzas are made with a dough comprised of a custom blend of “00” flour, spelt, semolina and rye. They’re baked in a Pavesi, a pizza oven from Milan.

Set in a former Phillips 66 gas station, Benzina (Italian for “gasoline”) has a family-friendly atmosphere enhanced by twin bocce courts and urban planters alongside the expansive outdoor dining patio. It will first serve dinner and takeout Wednesday through Sunday in accordance with the city’s guidelines and introduce lunch and brunch services later this summer.

Related: How one Denver pizzeria ‘crushed’ the COVID-19 crisis

With partners Tom Walls and Jerry Good, Anderson co-owned popular Denver area restaurant concepts including Rocky Mountain Diner, Rick’s Café, Chopper’s Sports Grill, The Castle Café and The Next Door Bar. He tapped Boulder native Lockwood to oversee and execute dishes. Lockwood is working alongside Bolognini in the kitchen, while experienced bartender and hospitality industry professional Justin Dano will be the general manager.

“This restaurant has been a long time coming, and I’m extremely proud of the talented team we’ve assembled,” Anderson said. “We used the delays and setbacks we faced as a result of the pandemic to our advantage, taking our time to ensure the right team members, processes and recipes were in place prior to opening.”

“After relocating to Boulder from New York City during the pandemic, I was looking for an exciting project to sink my teeth into,” Lockwood said. “It was serendipitous to connect with Brad and find that our approaches to food and service are similar. I can’t wait to see the direction Chef Dani takes the menu in and know the sky’s the limit for Benzina. ”

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