EAGLE’S POPULAR Golden Oven Pizza is back in business | VailDaily.com

EAGLE’S POPULAR Golden Oven Pizza is back in business

EAGLE — There was something about the thought of a perfectly good pizza oven sitting in a storage unit that Baker Smith just couldn't abide.

That was the beginning of the revival of Golden Oven Pizza in Eagle.

Smith has been a valley resident for 45 years, employed mainly in the construction industry. "I built (former Golden Oven Pizza owner) Henie's bar for him," said Smith. "Then when Henie left for California, he had everything for a whole restaurant — tables, chairs and a big, quality pizza oven — stuck in storage."

Smith was already contemplating moving on from his construction career when he latched onto the idea of taking over the Golden Oven operation.

"I am making the same pizza, with the same recipes, that Henie had," said Smith.

That means the return of signature pies including the Dracula and the Transylvanian that reflect the former owner's Romanian roots.

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"The Dracula is probably one of our most popular pies. It has gypsy pepperoni, gypsy sausage and gypsy bacon that comes from a specialty meat market in Denver," said Smith.

As for his personal favorite, Smith is partial to the Da Vinci, which features Canadian bacon , tomato, mushrooms and artichoke hearts.

"I really like those artichoke hearts on pizza," Smith said.

Along with its various speciality pies, Golden Over has build-your-own pizza options with everything from anchovies to pineapple as an option.

Pizza prices start at $12.99 and pizza sizes are 12-inch, 14-inch and 16-inch. Golden Oven also offers calzones, chicken wings (hot, barbecue, thai and plain), garlic bread sticks, garlic cheese bread and salad along with daily dessert specials.

Tucked away

Golden Oven is primarily a delivery operation, and Smith's green pickup is a rolling advertisement for the business. The operation also offers pick up from its kitchen location that fronts the alley between Broadway and Wall Street right off of Second Street.

"I run into people all the time who don't know that we are here," said Smith.

Smith said many of the people who have discovered the pizzeria's low profile location like to walk up and order a pie.

"They come over and watch the conveyor as their pizza comes out of the oven," he said. Smith added that his youngest customers are the ones most enthralled by the oven operation. "There are some kids who have been here 10 times already."

As for himself, Smith missed Golden Oven when it was gone and he is thrilled to have the opportunity to bring it back to Eagle. He is also thrilled to be launching his second career.

"This thing here keeps me busy, sometimes busier than I want to be," he said. He works the pizza kitchen with the assistance of one other cook and a couple of delivery drivers.

"That's all that a guy needs, as far as I am concerned," he said.

Smith is also glad to be have found a local business niche. "I came here (to the Eagle Valley) right out of high school in Texas and I never left," said Smith. "This valley has always treated me well and there hasn't ever been any reason for me to leave."

Golden Oven Pizza is open seven days a week from 4 p.m. "until closing." The operation will also deliver lunch orders of a minimum of seven pizzas with 24-hour notice. Delivery is free and daily specials are offered. Golden Oven Pizza can be reached at 970-328-1234.