Clyde’s Pies serves up pizza year round thanks to new spot
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — After building a strong North Routt clientele the past three years, the Nelson family will be expanding Clyde’s Pies to downtown Steamboat Springs this winter. The business will be located in the old Ghost Ranch Saloon on Seventh Street.
“We have this following out in Clark, and that has become kind of a phenomenon where we just get slammed every day,” said Clyde Nelson, who runs Clyde’s Pies with his sons Kyle and Alec. “Coming here was kind of this serendipitous occurrence where we were looking for a winter venue, and Cam (Boyd) and Adam (Feiges), his partner, were looking for a food operator to come in here and work the alley and the window where Back Door Grill used to be. We kind of touched base with each other, and we were both thinking about the same thing.”
Clyde spent 30 years working as the executive chef at The Home Ranch before retiring in 2017.
“That’s where my love and passion for wood-fired cookery got going,” Clyde said. “I love that wood-fired kind of primitive style, back-to-basics cooking.”
Clyde said his passion was ignited when The Home Ranch created a farm kitchen as the centerpiece of the ranch’s vegetable and herb gardens along with a large greenhouse. The kitchen was fueled by a wood-fired brick oven and Argentine grills.
When The Home Ranch sold, Clyde decided it was a time for a change.
Three years ago, he joined forces with Kyle, who graduated from Steamboat Springs High School in 2003, and Alec, a 2005 graduate, to start Clyde’s Pies. The business has been seasonal, operating out of the parking lot of The Clark Store in the summer, using an oven made by Forno Bravo, the leading wood-fire oven manufacturer in Italy.
Clyde said he uses apple, peach and scrub oak wood brought in from Palisade to give the pizzas a unique flavor along with Italian dough. The wood-fired oven reaches temperatures of 700 to 800 degrees Fahrenheit, which is ideal for their Neapolitan-style pizza.
“We take a lot of pride in doing it the old-fashioned way,” Alec said. “We make everything with fresh ingredients, and we make everything from scratch.”
That includes the pesto, the vegetables and the preparation of the dough, which is made using a finely milled flour imported from Italy that creates a soft, yet strong and flavorful crust.
On Tuesday, Kyle was busy slicing up the vegetables, peppers and onions while Alec roasted them. The Nelsons had made the pizza dough 48 hours earlier. They were preparing for their official opening at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Kyle joked about working with his dad and brother, saying it’s not as bad as you might think.
“Seriously, it’s a lot of fun, and it’s brought us together,” Kyle said with a smile. “Now that we have more of a vision, it is super exciting.”
Clyde’s Pies will utilize the takeout window located in the alley next to the Ghost Ranch building.
The building, which is owned by Cam Boyd and Adam Feigns, is expected to undergo major renovations in the next year, but the Nelsons are hoping it will remain the home of Clyde’s Pies and be able to add to the downtown area and nearby Yampa Street.
Alec said the new location will be open from 3 to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. The menu will include a variety of pizzas including cheese, four cheese, Margherita, pepperoni, sausage, roasted vegetable, rocket, Laughing Goat, Ohana and Funghi Misti, featuring mushrooms from Innovative Ag.
“We do have some signature pizzas,” Alec said. “We take a lot of pride in every single pizza that comes out of the oven, so when people ask us what our favorite pizza is, we really have a hard time answering that question because we really think that every individual pizza is great in its own way.”
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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