Who is Walter?
- It’s hard to believe it was 2010 when we opened our original Walter's303 Uptown location! In 2014 we opened Bow Mar, and in 2017 we are excited to announce that along with a ‘new-ish’ name; we have a new look, new friends and another new location! Whether you join us at Uptown, Bow Mar or Flying Horse, we promise hot pizza, cold brews and good times. If pizza is our passion then craft brew is our obsession, and customer service our addiction!
- Colorado Springs"]For our friends in the Colorado Springs area, we’ve partnered with our longtime friends and pizza veterans Dave and Debby Hammett, who bring over 30 years of delicious pizza making experience. WALTERS303 Flying Horse is NOW Open!
- In October, our flagship Publik House opened at Uptown featuring an expanded and updated indoor/outdoor dining room and bar. In partnership with our new friends Stacy & John Turk of Epic Brewery, (you may also know John from his Colorado Craft Beer Radio Show) Uptown now features 23 unique, hard to find, and of course DELICIOUS craft brews to sip (or chug – we don’t judge) along with your favorite pizza. Download the Digital Pour app for IOS or Android to see exactly what's on tap and just how much is left.
Meet the folks behind WALTER’S303
Who is Walter?
Mike Kienast opened the original Walter’s Pizzeria in the Uptown neighborhood of downtown Denver in November 2010. It was a dream come true. Six years and soon to be three locations later, we are often asked, “Who the hell is Walter?” The simple answer is…nobody; the long answer… is a bit more complicated. While attending Air Academy High School in Colorado Springs, CO, Mike worked for ‘Pizza 4 U’, a family owned pizzeria run by Dave and Debby Hammet. After graduating Mike moved from Greeley to Denver to Boulder to Denver then to Tahoe and eventually back to Denver – all the while working at a variety of dining establishments to put himself through college. It was during this time he met his mentor and future business partner, who owned a variety of fast casual franchises and franchise concepts around the country. For years, Mike worked tirelessly to learn the business from the ground up. His goal was to one day start his own restaurant concept, which he always knew would be pizza!
Fast forward to 2005. Mike (aka Walter) met Jennifer, his now wife, while watching a Broncos game at the Uptown Tavern. By this time his dream of opening a pizzeria of his own was well established. For the first 3 years of their relationship, Mike and Jen would often discuss his pizza plans, to which Jen would always suggest the name “Walter’s”. Not once did Mike ask why. It was not until 4 years into their relationship (and during their engagement!) when the dream looked to become a reality that Mike finally asked, “Why do you want me to name the pizza place Walter’s?” Jen responded, “Duh, because it’s your middle name”. Mike’s response “Hello, my middle name is Wayne, it’s nice to MEET you”. And with that, Walter’s Pizzeria was born – “Your neighborhood pizzeria”, where they may or may not know your name.
In preparation for their 3rd location, Flying Horse Colorado Springs, Mike sought to trademark Walter’s, only to discover it was unavailable. Not wanting to let go of the name they sought a way to keep it as well as pay homage to the city and community that made a dream come true. Enter WALTERS303 Pizzeria & Publik House.
Peace and Pizzas!