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When Sam and Tricia Maher landed in Denver in 2016, they only planned to stay for a ski season. The longtime hospitality pros, who had met in Melbourne (Sam is from Sydney and Tricia is from Toronto), had been living in New York at the time, and were touring the U.S. in an old school bus, dreaming of starting their own restaurant. But after hitting the slopes and working at Mercantile for a matter of months, the duo had fallen for the Mile High City.
“We were quite impressed by Denver. I think that the sense of community here is a big one,” Tricia says. “It kind of reminded me of Melbourne years back: there’s really good coffee, there’s really great bakeries, and people are really passionate about what they do here. All of our friends, genuinely, are so supportive and really just want everyone to succeed. It was really refreshing.”
As luck would have it, a restaurant space opened up on South Broadway a few years later, and the Mahers jumped on it. In 2019, they debuted Somebody People, their first self-proclaimed “vegetable-forward” restaurant (though everything on the menu is vegan), combining local, seasonal produce with laid-back party vibes via weekly DJ sets and David Bowie–themed bathrooms. Since then, Somebody People has won the hearts of herbivores and carnivores alike for its simple interpretations of Mediterranean small plates like flash-fried shishitos with peach mostarda, corn- and pistachio-dusted gocce rigate, and a hearty $40 Feed Me offering, wherein head chef Art Burnayev sends out a parade of salads, snacks, and pastas to hungry diners.
Luckily for Denver, the Mahers didn’t stop there. As Somebody People evolved, the duo doubled down on dine-in offerings. “The kitchen as Somebody People is tiny, so really we can only focus on one thing,” Tricia says. “It’s sort of not viable for dine in and takeout, so we opened a new [restaurant].”
Earlier this month, the team flung open the doors to Everyday Pizza, a Ballpark eatery slinging plant-based pies and veggie-forward small plates in funky digs. (See: the jungle-green floor, pink-and-orange brick bar, and retro wallpaper—the latter two of which were holdovers from prior tenant Turnover, Darling.) “I think it’s taking elements of Somebody People but making it even more vibrant and fast-paced,” Sam says. “Somebody People’s more of a funk track, and this is more of a techno track here. It’s definitely more vibrant, with lots of color and moodier surroundings.”
Like at Somebody People, nothing is publicly billed as vegan, but there’s no cheese in sight. Vegan dipping sauces—like tzatziki, hemp cream, and almond skordalia—are sold à la carte, while some pies are zinged with condiments like vincotto (made from crushed grape juice). Each wood-fired flatbread is themed around a singular seasonal produce sourced from local purveyors like Ela Family Farms in Hotchkiss and Tasty Acres Colorado in Lakewood. The onion variety, for example, is crested with cippolinis, spring, and red onions alongside crushed almonds and green olives, and the mushroom pizza features fresh oyster and cremini fungi.
Aside from its eponymous flatbreads, look to the Fun Bites menu for shareable snacks like the crispy-on-the-outside, silky-on-the-inside polpette di melanzane—fried eggplant “meatballs” blended with parsley and garlic—and the fluffy, roasted lion’s mane mushrooms, laced with fennel, chives, and pink peppercorns. Everything celebrates the season’s bounty, which is inspired by the Mahers’ own lifestyle.
“The start of it was just the way that Sam and I like to eat,” Tricia says. “When we traveled around America for a long time, we would check out the token vegan places and try to support them, but to be honest, the way that we truly like to eat is to go to top restaurants with top chefs and just get the vegan option.” She says in the hands of skilled chefs who are passionate about veggies, the best way to prepare plants is just to keep it simple.
This minimalist approach is one reason you won’t find pre-made, faux meats or dairy products on the menus. The other reason: sustainability. “Why would we buy some cheese substitution when we can make our own with almonds that we can buy in bulk and reduce the package waste?” Burnayev says. While Somebody People encourages diners to bring their own Tupperware for leftovers, Everyday Pizza is starting with compostable pizza boxes while the team brainstorms more initiatives, like taking back cardboard from returning customers and composting it in-house.
Whether you turn up for the earth-friendly ethos, the delicious plants, or to get down on the green dance floor during late-night DJ sets and upcoming events, Everyday Pizza is one of downtown’s coolest new draws—led by a duo that shows no signs of shutting down the party.
“We just kind of make up places that we want to be, you know?” Tricia says. “We want an environment where we have fun. We want to hang out and bring everything that we love together.”
2162 Larimer St.