Retail  June 28, 2024

Downtown Greeley to lose Fusco Pizza in late July

GREELEY — Fusco Pizza will serve its last slice in late July after 19 months in downtown Greeley.

The pizzeria had opened in December 2022 at 811 Eighth St. in a space that had been Right Coast Pizza from 2012 until two years ago, but sibling co-owners Ben and Hannah Fusco have decided to close its doors on July 27,  followed by what they’re calling an “inventory party” on July 28 “for anyone interested in helping us drink and eat our sorrows away.”

In a farewell message posted Thursday on Fusco Pizza’s Facebook page, the owners wrote “with a heavy heart” that, “from our first slice to our last, it has been an incredible journey filled with countless memories and shared moments over our favorite food. We are deeply grateful to every one of you who came and visited our restaurant. Your support, loyalty and presence have meant the world to us. For everyone who was a part of the Fusco Pizza family, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

“We’ve celebrated so many milestones together: birthdays, anniversaries, first dates and countless gatherings with family and friends. Though our doors are closing, the memories we’ve made will remain in our hearts forever. Thank you for being a part of our journey and allowing us to be a part of yours.”

Before Right Coast Pizza, Nelson’s Office Supply had occupied the space for more than 70 years, and the “Nelson’s” sign remains. Bianca Fisher, executive director of the Greeley Downtown Development Authority, told BizWest on Friday that Justin Vogel, the building’s owner who also had owned Right Coast Pizza, “is planning a little something for that first level, not a restaurant this time but more of something retail.”

What that something will be, Vogel told BizWest on Friday, is Greeley Guitar Lounge, a guitar retail store.

“I’d better be open no later than Nov. 1,” he said. “Construction’s always less fun than you imagine.”

Ben Fusco called Vogel “the best landlord in town.

“He helped me get started by taking some of the rent off and gave us a bunch of wisdom,” he said. “The guy even worked some of our first shifts to help us learn the ropes.”

Shutting down the pizzeria “was the best decision for us,” he said. “At some point as an owner, you want to stop bleeding capital. There’s that old anecdotal thing about it takes a couple years of losing money to get yourself established. But we just couldn’t do it. The winters especially are really hard.”

Vogel acknowledged that “it’s a tough market.

“The market seems even more difficult than in 2022,” he said. “Now that I’ve been out of the restaurant business and I go out to eat, things are really expensive. It makes me not want to go out to eat as much.”

The Fuscos’ father, David, who owned Royal Slice Pizza around 40 years ago near Tombstone, Arizona, specialized in square-pan pizzas and inspired his offspring to open the Greeley restaurant.

Ben and Hannah Fusco also run the nonprofit church-affiliated Zoe’s Cafe and Event Center in Greeley, but their absence downtown will be felt, Fisher said.

“It’s certainly a sadness for us downtown to be losing them,” she said. “They’re community-minded people who live from a place of values.”

Fusco Pizza will serve its last slice in late July after 19 months in downtown Greeley.

Dallas Heltzell
With BizWest since 2012 and in Colorado since 1979, Dallas worked at the Longmont Times-Call, Colorado Springs Gazette, Denver Post and Public News Service. A Missouri native and Mizzou School of Journalism grad, Dallas started as a sports writer and outdoor columnist at the St. Charles (Mo.) Banner-News, then went to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch before fleeing the heat and humidity for the Rockies. He especially loves covering our mountain communities.
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