Ghost Box Pizza brings Detroit pizza and wood-fired pies to Lafayette
There are plenty of pizza options in the Denver metro area, including places that have made Westwordrecent top ten list. On December 20, 2021, a new competitor opened at 103 South Public Road in Lafayette: Ghost Box Pizza. But the only scary thing about this new restaurant from the Stem Ciders team is how it haunts your pizza dreams long after you’ve finished its Detroit-style pies — especially if you get the spicy-sweet Ghost Pig. with bacon, charred pineapple, red onion, sliced jalapeño and a hot ghost pepper sauce.
Behind the pies is chef Matt Ochs, a 35-year veteran cook. Ochs worked at many restaurants in Denver, Boulder, and surrounding areas (including the Greenbriar Inn in Boulder, Culture Meat & Cheese in Denver Central Market, and Post Chicken & Beer’s Lafayette), but he had never made pizza. before that. business.
In order to learn, the chef did a lot of research, watched online videos, and talked to experts about wood-fired pizza and Detroit pizza. Ochs learned how to make the right dough, using some of the skills he learned while running a bagel shop decades ago, he says. As for toppings, he plans to source local, seasonal produce for Ghost Box Pizza when the farmers market season picks up.
For now, the menu consists of six Detroit-style pizzas, including the aforementioned Ghost Pig as well as an equally memorable spicy pepperoni; potato-rosemary; chicken-bacon-ranch; classic margherita; and one garnished with mortadella, Gouda and melted onion. Choose from two sizes: small (which serves about two people for $13-$18) and large (enough for a super-hungry duo or up to four guests for $15-$28).
There’s also a 14-inch wood-fired pizza menu with five choices, plus a build-your-own pizza option, salads, garlic cheese bread with sauce, burrata and meatballs. Also take a look at the list of sandwiches – it includes grilled Italian, eggplant caponata, meatball sub, wood-fired chicken with peppers and a hot dog nicknamed the Lafayette Coney. Cocktails (made with Stem cider, of course) and local beer and wine are also on the menu.
Just as pizza wasn’t originally planned for Ochs, it wasn’t the intended path for owners Eric Foster and Phil Kao, who started Stem Ciders in 2013. The team launched their first restaurant concept, Acreage (an offshoot of the Denver Tavern) in Lafayette four years ago, with an emphasis on local foods and farm-fresh ingredients, all paired with the cider program.
Ghost Box Pizza, on the other hand, is an idea born during the restaurant’s closure in 2020, when it started out as a ghost kitchen operating out of Acreage. The concept slowly gained popularity, and eventually the team decided to open it as a physical restaurant. Originally, Ghost Box Pizza was run by Chef Cody Scott. Ochs came on board to help start the kitchen, and when Scott left the project, Ochs took over.
Located in the former Miller’s Bar & Grille, the remodeling of the 7,065 square foot space included opening up the ceilings, exposing the now white rafters made brighter by skylights in the roof. Free-standing tables are spaced out so you feel like you have room to move around, and a long bar against the wall adds some easy seating for solo diners. The ground floor, equipped with televisions and arcade games, is available for large parties and special events.
For now, Ghost Box Pizza is open for dine-in and take-out, but delivery will soon be added, operations manager Sarah Ingraham said, and a grand opening party with pizza samples, a cut tape and a DJ is scheduled for March. 28 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Ghost Box Pizza is located at 103 South Public Road, Lafayette and is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. For more information, visit ghostboxpizza.com.