Mollica’s Italian Market expands to south side of Springs

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Mollica’s is expanding its footprint in Colorado Springs to the Broadmoor Towne Center.

Mollica’s is expanding its footprint in Colorado Springs to the Broadmoor Towne Center.

Mollica’s Italian Market and Deli owners Toni and Jerry Mollica plan to open a second restaurant during October.

At 7,500 square feet, the Mollica’s in the Broadmoor Towne Center will offer seating for 70 and feature both a deli and a bakery.

“We’ve been looking for the right place for the past 10 years,” said Jerry Mollica, who opened the first Mollica’s at 985 Garden of the Gods Road with his mom, Toni, and dad, Dominic, 22 years ago. “This new place (1872 Southgate Road) is a very good location. We’ve got the Broadmoor, Fort Carson and downtown and we’re right in the middle of it all.”

The Mollicas will keep their meat production (sausage and meatballs) at the Garden of the Gods location, but have pasta production at the new facility.

Mollica’s South will offer fresh Niman meat from Chicago, as well as fresh Colorado beef, and they’ll be flying in fresh seafood. The new place will offer a variety of cheeses, olives, Boar’s Head meats, Italian deserts and breads.

Jerry Mollica has already begun hiring 30 to 35 new employees. While restaurants and small businesses nationwide look for ways to cut costs amid a recession that has spanned 18 months, Mollica’s is looking for kitchen and wait staff, management and grocery workers.

This fact isn’t lost on Mollica, who oozes confidence as he talks about the opening of his family’s latest venture.

“It’s scary to open a new place in any economy, but when you come down to this area, you see how busy it is,” he said. “If anything, the Garden of the Gods Road area has been heavily affected by the economy, with its high-tech closings and movings. That has definitely affected our lunch and dinner business, but the market is still strong for our retail items. Our sausage is pretty much a staple for a lot of people’s houses in the area. As far as the new location goes, it’s a lot of work to get this going, but people are very excited to see us going in here and we’re looking forward to serving families down here.”

Downtown urban garden

Sam Holt was studying the property outside Plush Designs this spring when an idea struck him.

The general manager of the downtown kitchen and bath dealer thought about what his college-age daughter had said.

“She had given me grief about watering in an area that was mostly grass and weeds,” he said. “At the same time, I thought about a few of the homeless people who had stopped by looking for work. So I thought a garden might make for an interesting experiment.”

With blessings from Plush Designs owners Mark and Cathy Plush, Holt plowed a 30-by-30 foot plot on the property at the corner of South Wahsatch Avenue and Cucharras Street.

Holt and Cathy Plush planted onions, chilies and squash, as well as beans, peas, corn, pumpkins, cantaloupe, watermelon and carrots. They then invited neighbors and community members to share in the upkeep and harvest of the garden.

“We started with the purpose of allowing everyone to help themselves to the harvest and we did have one homeless person plant some seeds,” Holt said. “He has a couple of rows he’s been tending to.”

Scott Prater covers retail for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.

One Response to Mollica’s Italian Market expands to south side of Springs

  1. My wife and I have been wanting to visit Mollica’s for over a year now and finally got the chance this evening. What a disappointment. We ordered our food (a small pizza, 2 sandwiches and the pasta special) and found a table, discussing the errands we had to do this evening. As time went on, I noticed several tables with numbers higher than ours (meaning they’d ordered after us) getting their food. I asked the lady who’d taken our order how much longer it would be and why it was taking so long. She said they had a printer problem and that some orders weren’t going to the back. She then said it would be no more than 5 minutes more. About 10 minutes later, she came out to say it was the pizza holding things up (even though I’d just seen a calzone and a pizza brought out to people who’d ordered after us). When the food finally started coming out 40+ minutes after we’d ordered, the server asked how everything was and how our visit was going. BIG MISTAKE. After voicing my complaints to her, she confided that they were running short-handed. After I pointed out that that didn’t seem to keep others, who’d ordered after us, from getting their food, she asked if I’d like to speak to a manager. You bet I would. By this time my wife had left and we STILL didn’t have the two sandwiches (probably the two easiest dishes we’d ordered). After the manager finally came out, I’d had it. He apologized for everything taking so long again stating printer problems, etc. However, by this time, I just wasn’t interested. I pointed out that we seemed to be the ONLY table affected by their printer glitches and staffing problems since so many others had received their food despite these extremely trying conditions. He then also offered the “well, you did have a pizza and they do take time”, to which I explained that, not only did the other tables receive their oven-related orders but also that my grandfather has owned and operated several Italian restaurants/stores so I have some idea that it doesn’t take 40+ minutes. In the end, the manager did apologize repeatedly, and did offer to get us some desserts but by that time, I was actually sick of being there and just wanted to leave. I would not recommend anyone give this place the time of day. Maybe the other stores are better but I doubt I’ll take the chance on being this disappointed again.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:16 pm