35-year-old Frontroom Pizza gets a big-name new owner

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It’s never a given that a new owner, chef and menu will bring an old eating institution back to life.

But Frontroom Pizza in Lakewood has a fighting chance.

After the pizza parlor closed on Sunday, James Beard Award-winning restaurateur Alex Seidel took over operations. The Denver chef and his crew have started demolition, and renovations will soon be underway in the kitchen, dining area and, of course, on the original salad bar.

Once a bar and new furniture are in place, Seidel and Denver chef Tim Bender (formerly of Comal Heritage Incubator) plan to reopen the restaurant as Roca’s by late January or early next month.

The new bar area at Roca’s pizza which will open in the longtime home of Frontroom under new owner Alex Seidel.

“It really came down to me having a true love for that restaurant and not wanting to (lose) another option in our neighborhood,” Seidel said.

A longtime Lakewood resident, Seidel said he remembers coming to Frontroom once a week after his kids were born. Since it opened, the restaurant changed hands once before, to real estate developer Bruce Prior, who passed the reins to Seidel.

“(Prior) deserves some kudos for trying to keep a neighborhood gem alive,” Seidel said.

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