Denver >Restaurants >
Pizza >Proto's Pizza
2401 15th St, Denver, CO | Directions 8020239.756750 -105.009080
Neighborhoods: Highland, Northwest Denver
First the good; the pizza is mouth-watering, the atmosphere hip, the employees exceptional. Protos isn’t trying to cater to the chain pizza patron, so if your idea of a great pie is an XL-processed-meatzza, wax cheese, Velveeta-filled-crust-bomb, then go back to domino hut. Protos specializes in handmade, never processed, specialty pies made fresh to order. The Denver employees are friendly, knowledgeable and down to earth. If you’re looking for great Neapolitan handmade pies with a stylish atmosphere and courteous employees that know their wines, than Protos is for you. There is also a tiki torch lit patio that is great for summer afternoons/evenings.
Now the bad; Pam Proto (owner/proprietor) has publicly built her reputation into a caring, charitable, community supporter but unfortunately does NOT extend these traits to her employees. The bussers are working for below minimum wage. She is presently threatening employee’s jobs and/or wages with relocation. Ms. Proto is cutting server’s shifts that aren’t meeting what she calls “sales goals”. I personally know two long-term, hard working employees that Ms. Proto threatened with the ultimatum, “transfer to a new location, or lose your job”. Ms. Proto’s newest employee regulation (threat) was directed towards the servers. Apparently the servers that don’t meet “Pam’s sales goals” for the week, lose one-week worth of shifts. Seriously? You suspend someone’s wages for a week and expect him or her to work harder and respect you and your restaurant?
The employees at Protos are hard working young people. The Majority are students, and for them losing one-week of shifts is a large fraction of their income. All the servers are well-trained, polite, intelligent people, so if they aren’t pulling in “Pam’s projected earnings” I find it hard to believe it’s strictly by fault of their own. Way to give your employees incentive, greedy Ms. Proto. Punishment and threat as motivation, does the definition of terrorism ring a bell? Is this how you’ve achieved success by threatening and bullying your way through the industry? You practice a poor business model Ms. Proto; you may want to think about encouragement rather than threats. Encouragement equals employee loyalty, equals long-term success, equals respect. Pam Proto is a deceiving, greedy-bully that cares nothing for her employees, her only concern is seeing the numbers in her own bank account grow.
So if you decide to visit the Denver Protos and you see Ms. Pam and she flashes that “I’m sweet little Pam Proto and I give contributions to third-world children- smile”, remember that all the employees are under a constant threat of losing their jobs and wages. Also remember to tip your server well too; it may be the last tip they see for a week. Beside the name Proto, the restaurant is worth checking out, at least for the employees, the wine and the pie.
One of the top pizzas in Denver – Despite the crowded chaos and above the din, there is pizza euphoria to experience at Proto's. This place is seriously simple, offering only pizzas, salads and desserts on its menu, in addition to a full bar with a rotating wine list. The pizza is very authentic and flavorful and the open kitchen, with its imported Italian wood oven, can be viewed from any perch in the place. My mother, who is from Europe, proclaimed the pizza the best she'd had since our trip to Rome together. And if you like clams, every Friday night is clam pizza night! The owners fly them in for the occasion.
AMAZING pizza – I went here when I was pregnant, so I don't know how valid my opinion is:) But...this pizza is absolutely amazing. I read so many reviews about the "bad" service, and yes, it is a small place so seating can be troublesome, but it is a PIZZA JOINT!!! I suppose I don't expect the same kind of service here as I would at a fine dining restaurant. It is a more casual atmosphere with a nice touch of Chic Italian culture and I just LOVED it. In this kind of restaurant, I don't WANT to have waiters breathing down my neck. I want to spend the time with the person I came with and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere and great food. I recommend every person in Denver to come here and I guarantee you everyone would love the food...and the "hard to please" people might find fault in the service.
fantastic pizza!! – best restaurant in the area!! their thin crust pizzas are always made with fresh ingredients. my husband and i have been there several times and love it. i highly recommend that you give this place a try. the staff is always friendly and we've never had a problem with seating although it has a tendency to fill up so come early otherwise you may be stuck waiting for a table. they also have a bar inside although some drinks are on the pricey end. give it a try, you won't be disappointed!
Pizza - Good Service - Bad – The Pizzas are good. The ingredients are flavorful. The crust was thin and crispy but did not have any of the blisters which I loved in Italy.
The wine list is brief with many Italian varietals. Included for whites were a Vernachia, Inama Soave.
The comments regarding delays in seating are true. I saw large groups of people clogging the entry area. Its a popular place and the restaurant is small.
The Pizza oven was gas burning in the back. I watched them roll and toss the thin crusts.
Good thin crust pizza, simple salads – Proto serves one of the better thin crust pizzas in Denver. They offer a good array of fresh ingredients, small salads and a decent little bar. The place is small and has a limited number of tables, but the patio is great if it's warm. The atomica is a good choice if you like a lot on your pizza. Their sausage is flavorful, not too much fat with a good amount of fennel. Sometimes the pizzas could use more sauce. The salads are prefect for an entree or for sharing, but a little expensive. The wine list is good and fairly priced, nothing eclectic, but easy to navigate.
The service is very casual, not much better than a Chili's, but it's never bad, just nothing to write home about.
Great food – Good food, but Protos is very proud of everything they do. Salads are some of the best in town. Fresh, fresh ingredients. I find the wait staff, although personable, lacking in warmth. I have visited many times and am never treated as a valued customer. Maybe my money doesn't mean as much as someone else's. I don't know. I don't got here any more.
Wonderful Pizza! – If you want to go somewhere with amazing pizza, amazing service, and a wonderful atmosphere, Protos is the perfect place. I love the atmosphere! They have a bar, a small sitting area outside to people watch while you eat, and you can watch them bake the pizzas in their oven at the back end of the restaurant. The pizza is delicious. There are several different types of pizzas on their menu. You can order small med or large. The thin soft crust is delicious. I also have had several of their appetizers and they were excellent. The panini w/ olive oil was great and so was the Caesar Salad w/ Anchovies. They have Stella on Draft...mmmm! I love how it is more on the healthy side and reasonably priced. I highly recommend this place.
poor service, ok pizza – Wait staff showed lack of concern for getting our drinks and the sausage pizza didn't have any sausage on it when it arrived at our table. The waiter offer to correct the situation by sprinkling cooked sausage on our baked pizza and said that was all they could do to correct our order. They then offered to let us have our cheese and onion pizza at half price. Never again.
Great pizzas and wine selection – I went to Protos one evening with a friend, my teenage son and a few of his buddies. The pizza at Protos was outstanding. The boys loved the Protos' pizza with yummy sausage and my favorite was the Pontiff's with spinach and fresh tomatoes and cheese. The crust is thin in the style of Napoli, so it's lovely, lower carbs and not as filling. The special salad was good too with walnuts , feta and bits of fruit. We had tiramasu and gelatos for dessert and espresso which topped of the meal delightfully. The service was great with many people checking in with us regularly, despite the fact that they were quite busy with customers. Last, but certainly not least, the young manager, Kara, was charming and made us feel welcome as well giving an excellent suggestion as to our wine choice with dinner. We will certainly return to Protos in Denver and highly recommend a visit to this restaurant.
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