Husband-wife team opens pizza/deli in Old Town
Tesslers also offer homemade desserts
Dwayne Tessler always liked pizzas. Simone Tessler, his wife, always wanted to work with him.
The two visions have come together for Dwayne and Simone in their recently opened Old Town Pizza & Deli in Old Colorado City.
“It's something we can do together,” she said. “We want to be a family restaurant, where people can come in and be comfortable.”
For Dwayne, the pizza fascination goes back to his childhood in Chicago. He recalls trips with the family to a popular place called Pizzeria Uno. “From that time, I grew to develop a taste for good quality pizza,” he writes in a piece displayed on a wall inside Old Town Pizza. “And with Chicago being home to thousands of pizza places, I narrowed it down to three that I believe are the best.”
From these various taste experiences - as well as previous work in the business - he said he developed his own sauce and crust.
Told (half-seriously) that his sauce recipe was needed for the story, Dwayne just grinned and shook his head.
In addition to pizzas, Dwayne cooks up a variety of sandwiches. Homemade meatballs, either in sandwiches or as pizza toppings, are one of his specialties.
Also homemade are Old Town's cakes (Simone) and cookies (Dwayne).
The couple were initially attracted to the region because of the Olympic Training Center. In 2001, their daughter Kira, then 12 was showing promise as a figure skater, and this seemed the place to be. She has since transitioned to track as her sport, but the Tesslers still like the area, particularly Old Colorado City. “It grows on you,” Simone said. “It's a place where you can find excitement and bring your kids - a friendly place to hang out.”
They currently live in the Monument area, but when their older child (Jason, 18) graduates from Lewis-Palmer, they plan to move down here.
Dwayne's previous career was in construction. He ran his own business in Chicago from 1986 to 2001. A bout with throat cancer - a malady he continues to battle - helped nudge him out of construction and into the cooking world he enjoys.
The Old Town Pizza location is 2609 W. Colorado Ave., in a standalone one-story building that's set back from the avenue. “We looked at a lot of places,” Simone said. “We're just comfortable here. We know it's going to be hard because we're set so far back. But once we get known, it will be a good place.”
Westside Pioneer article