In their upscale pizzeria, Melissa and Eric Rickman defied “conventional wisdom” introducing their rural Colorado community to the premium quality “New York Italian” pizza and pasta that Melissa enjoyed as a child. By focusing on great food and a warm, welcoming atmosphere, they have created a destination restaurant which also draws plenty of regulars from surrounding communities.
Located in a historic brick building downtown, their restaurant identifies each cozy table with famous “Big Apple” street signs. Even the stairway down to their 1920’s-era “speakeasy” basement bar features the authentic cast iron railings and entrance signage of a NY subway station.
But by far, the food is the main attraction. Visiting East-Coasters regularly compliment Melissa’s food as “tasting just like home.” In fact, during Covid, takeout grew so quickly that they had
to expand their kitchen to meet peak demand!
KEY IDEA – There are plenty of cheaper restaurants and taverns nearby. But
instead of trying to be all things to all people, Melissa and Eric have specialized in featuring premium craft beers, higher-end wines, top-shelf craft bourbons and whiskeys, and the latest specialty cocktails.
KEY IDEA – From a pricing and inventory management perspective, the digital bar-
menu system allows the restaurant to only display what’s currently in stock, focus guests on particularly interesting offerings, and rapidly reprice items as needed.
For example, available on-tap craft beers can be adjusted as soon as individual kegs are emptied or added. Individual wines or bourbons can be added (and priced) in real time as they become available. Specialty cocktails can be spotlighted only when the skilled mixologist is available!
Keeping menus current also means that servers don’t have to memorize which specialty wines or beers on a printed menu are “no longer available,” since they can be removed as the last glass is poured.
KEY IDEA – While their premium beverage selection constantly evolves, Melissa and Eric have wisely kept their food menu tightly focused on Italian specialties, like their signature stromboli, New York deli sandwiches made with premium meats and cheeses, and traditional pastas. That way, the “magnet” at the heart of
their success remains predictably delicious customer favorites which are not otherwise locally available.
As a result of consistently attracting (and keeping) more quality-oriented patrons, they are further expanding their seating to keep up! Bravo!