The PZA's story

Jake Rothey Pizza Chef at The PZA Denver

In May of 2022, Chef Jake smashed his piggy bank and turned over couch cushions to scrape together enough dough (pun intended) to found The PZA. A true humble beginning into entrepreneurship, The PZA is a kitchen in an old dive bar with a side door to Denver’s iconic East Colfax. A “bit of a gritty exterior” fits the description for both The PZA and Chef Jake but don’t be fooled, the passion is apparent, in some seriously good grub…

Jake’s vision was to create everything you’d expect from a local pizzeria but elevated by sourcing locally, attention to detail, and doing things the hard (correct) way. Come and pick up some chef-inspired pizza and fried chicken at The PZA. Also, stay tuned, Chef’s not stopping here…

Meet The Chef

Jake Rothey

Jake’s grandparents moved to Colorado in the early 1960s where the family is now 4 generations strong in the Denver area. He started his career in the restaurant industry in 2005 at age 17 as a prep cook/dishwasher at a bakery in Littleton, CO. He was completely enamored with food culture/people and earned a spot behind the bar (at the age of 21 of course). Jake tended bar and served guests through most of his early 20s when he realized that his passion was in the chaos of the kitchen, working hands-on to transform ingredients into edible art. Jake has worked in various cuisines and is classically trained by Italian, French, and Japanese chefs. Despite twists and turns, ups and downs, pizzas are the wheels that keep this train cruising. 

Jake Rothey Pizza Chef at The PZA Denver


"Had pizza and wings all over Denver and this is THE BEST!! Period.... Buffalo born and raised so I know Bangin' Wings!"
- Joel Catanzaro
"I never leave reviews, but this was too good! I got the white pizza and added jalapeños; highly recommend. The dry rub wings were great too. Arguably the best in Denver!"
- Stephanie Moffett
"Worthy of the hyperbolic “this is seriously the best pizza in Denver”. It’s the closest to NY/Boston pizza by far and just perfect. Ruined us from even trying elsewhere we keep coming back here. Nicely done, Jake!"
- Jessica Zangre