Pizza joint branches into new territory |

Pizza joint branches into new territory

Charlie Owen
Vail, CO, Colorado
AE Blue Moose 2 DT 1-3-08

VAIL “-When trying to choose which restaurant to grab a slice from, perhaps the best advice to take is straight from the mouth of a child.

Eleven-year-old Julia Minervini is all smiles when explaining why she loves to eat at The Blue Moose, a well-established pizza joint in the plaza at the base of Beaver Creek Mountain.

“There’s just so many flavors of pizza. Not just, like, cheese and sausage and pepperoni,” said Minervini, whose favorite Blue Moose original pizza is the “Chicken Ranch,” a specialty pie topped with diced chicken, ranch dressing, bacon, tomatoes and two types of cheese.

The Chicken Ranch is just one of 13 original pizza choices that The Blue Moose offers diners in Beaver Creek, and now at the new Arrabelle at Vail Square.

The Blue Moose in Vail celebrated its grand opening Friday night as the staff served slices of lasagna, buffalo wings, and Greek pizza (as well as other appetizers), to guests.

In a tourist trap filled with fine-dining restaurants, The Blue Moose is like a reasonably-priced beacon shining its light to those on a budget or just in the mood for familiar-food terrain.

“I know there’s not a lot of casual dining in this area right now. We’re just trying to carve out our niche,” said Suzy Melson, general manager for the Vail Blue Moose.

Business has been steady for the dining establishment during the days and at night when the fresh wave of apres-skiers comes off the slopes for dinner and drinks, Melson said.

Vail just made sense as the next spot for owner Brian Nolan to expand his culinary kingdom.

“It’s such a family-friendly area,” said Sarah Franke, communications manager for Catskill Place Restaurant Company, the organization that manages The Blue Moose, Chophouse, and Foxnut ” all of which are owned by Nolan.

Franke said that the family-friendly atmosphere and the style and selection of The Blue Moose’s pizza are what separates it from the rest of the pizza pack.

So, should we expect to see Blue Moose pizza anywhere besides Beaver Creek and Vail in the future?

“You know, not right now. I wouldn’t say that we’re never planning on it,” Franke said.

For now, the two mountains are the ideal location for the pizza place. Affordable slope-side dining in a family-friendly environment is every parents dream. And nothing brings out the kid in us all like a cheesy slice of za.

High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 748-2939 or

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