Frank Bonanno wants to bake bread.
Later this month, the owner of the Denver Milk Market plans to open LoDough Bakery to the public at 1805 Blake St. in the driveway of the Dairy Block after several months of wholesale operations.
Bonanno co-owns the bakery with Jan Kratzer, former bar manager of Mizuna, Bonanno Concepts’ flagship restaurant in Cap Hill.
Kratzer, an Austrian immigrant, had been baking since he was 8 years old and, during the pandemic, was baking sourdough breads for Mizuna’s takeout orders.
“My wife Jacqueline always wanted us to own a bakery and make our own bread. So after about a year of baking Jan, we decided it was the right time to help her follow her passion,” Bonanno said. “And, hopefully, over time, he can buy me out and it will become his own business.”
LoDough Bakery replaced Engine Room Pizza, Bonanno’s 1,200-square-foot slice pizza restaurant that closed during the pandemic.
Kratzer’s goal for the bakery is to make bread for all Bonanno concepts. He already uses the old pizza oven to bake bread for French 75 and Mizuna.
Now that the bakery has a three-tier steam injection oven, Kratzer hopes to expand his wholesale customer base, which includes The Bindery, where he previously worked.
The retail storefront will open April 15 and will serve danishes, granola, jam, scones and a variety of breads. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
“I’ve been thinking about opening this place for four years, and now it feels like someone turned on a tap and I’m trying to grab all the water,” Kratzer said.
Kratzer, who is a classically trained chef and has worked in restaurants for 15 years, got his passion for cooking from his mother-in-law, who made most meals from scratch growing up. He said he’s been bugging Bonanno about opening a bakery since he started working for him.
“It’s amazing to work for me and build something as an immigrant to the United States and hopefully for my family one day,” he said.
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