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Side dish: Peak Public Market


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Pikes Peak Market?

It could be like Pike Place Market in Seattle, or Milwaukee Public Market. Something that would generate millions in revenues and taxes, revive a blighted area, and bring together artisans of all sorts while attracting tourism.

That's how Ranch Foods Direct proprietor Mike Callicrate talks about a vision for the Peak Public Market, which he's working on with local leaders like Nor'wood Development president Chris Jenkins and congressional hopeful Dave Anderson. The idea is to convert the former 36,000-square-foot Crissy Fowler Lumber building at 117 W. Vermijo Ave., into a hub for local growers, brewers, roasters, artists and even cheese-makers, anchored by food stalls and perhaps a Ranch Foods Direct market extension. Lofts and the like could boost the area, with potential for community gardens and a direct tie to America the Beautiful Park.

"We don't have the ocean, but we have the plains," says Callicrate, quoting Jenkins. "We have beef, pork, wonderful Arkansas Valley produce — we want to make a showplace for that."

Much remains undetermined — public-owned? producer-consumer co-op? — and input will soon be sought.

Check our IndyBlog and RFD's site soon for regular updates.

Napoli to north side

Stefano Ferrara oven, imported from Italy — check. Italian Caputo pizza flour, also imported — check. Fior di latte (cow-milk) mozzarella and Alta Cucina plum tomatoes — check, check.

Yup, looks like Duca's Neapolitan Pizza (12229 Voyager Pkwy., 457-3200) is planning to make a serious impression when it opens around July 6 or so.

Father-and-son team Joe and Tony Duca call it a quality, fast-casual concept that, as wood-oven operations go, should be more like a counter-service Il Vicino than a table-service Pizzeria Rustica. Joe says he's emulating a place called Pizzeria Locale in Boulder and a California-based Naples tribute called 800 Degrees.

As for the 11-inch pies, expect three bases on which to add toppings: a tomato-basil margherita, a bianco (white pizza) with oil and cheese, and a vegan-friendly marinara pizza with oil, tomatoes and spices. Beyond build-your-own or pre-designed specialty pizzas (all under $10), look for four salads and six sandwich options, but no pastas and no desserts at first, says Joe. There will be Peroni beer and Duca Italian wine — total coincidence (or kismet).

The Ducas, developers previously, developed the complex into which they're moving. They sold it several years ago, and today are renting from that buyer. Depending on response, Joe could see expansion in Colorado, but kept in the family.


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