Grand opening set for wood-fired pizza restaurant

A grand opening celebration is planned for a wood-fired pizza restaurant in Grand Junction.

The celebration is set for noon to 7 p.m. Jan. 9 at Smokin’ Oak Wood-Fired Pizza. The restaurant is located in the Grand Mesa Center at 2478 U.S. Highway 6 & 50. The event, which is open to the public, will include free pizza.

The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily and offer artisan pizzas made from scratch and baked in a wood-fired oven-fired to 900 degrees. Customers can choose from signature pizzas or select their own toppings. Gluten-free and vegan options will be available. The fare also will feature local ingredients, including produce, craft beers, and wines .

The 2,000-square-foot restaurant will seat 56 people inside and 34 outside on a patio. Customers also may order online to dine in or take out.

Bob and Cecily Marolf will operate the restaurant as franchise owners and expect to hire 20 to 30 full- and part-time employees. The couple also is looking for property for a second location in Grand Junction.

“We love our community and look forward to offering residents and visitors a new dining experience,” Bob said.

While the couple is new to the restaurant business, Bob worked for 35 years for Meadow Gold Dairy, part of Dean Foods. “The real key to success will be my new business partner and wife of 34 years,” Bob said. “She inspires the confidence to go forward with this new venture. I couldn’t do it without her.”

Based in Florida, Smokin’ Oak Wood-Fired Pizza opened its first franchise location in Iowa in 2017. New locations are planned not only for Colorado, but also for Iowa, Minnesota and other states. For additional information about Smokin’ Oak Wood-Fired Pizza, visit www.smokinoakpizza.com.