For the past 26 years the Pflipsen family has has dominated the crossroads of Harmony and South Taft Hill with their gas station, car wash, liquor store and storage facility.
The year is 2017 and now the JJ’s franchise has welcomed its very own bar and grill tucked between their gas station and liquor store. You just might miss it on first glance with such an inconspicuous location, but the shiny new sign tells you that you are in the right place.
From the outside, it is not much to look at, which could be a problem for some potential customers passing by from a day out at the reservoir. It is upon further inspection and entrance that those looking for a good meal will truly see just how good of a place JJ’s is.
Upon walking into JJ’s, the place is actually quite nice looking. A very sleek and well-stocked bar sits to the right of the entrance and in the back corner sits the immense pizza oven. The word “Napoli” is spelled out in blood-red tiles above the mouth of the fiery inferno that sits within the oven. A word that truly evokes the sense of the old country even on a stretch of road in southern Fort Collins.
The restaurant is furnished with sturdy high-legged stools and wooden tables with multiple flat screens posted along the walls to assure no guest is without entertainment. Nothing is out of place as far as bars and grills go and JJ’s is not attempting to throw us any curveballs. Comfortable and clean is always a welcomed aesthetic, especially when eating next to a gas station.
It is also why pizza makes so much sense to invest in as a bar and grill. People love pizza. Even when it is bad it is still pretty good, the true mantra of the pizza lifestyle. Rest assured, JJ’s pizza is premium and it is pretty dang good.
As a connoisseur and advocate for the pizza lifestyle, I found JJ’s pizzas balance the golden ratio of cheese to sauce very well, with just enough cheese, just enough sauce and the dough is baked to perfection. The color of the bottom of the pizza we ordered was the much sought after dark brown with just a tinge of char that all authentic oven-fired pizzas should have.
Anyone looking for a solid list of draft beers is going to be right at home at JJ’s too. They have your New Belgium and Odell, as well as some excellent newer breweries from Loveland that could use a little more recognition from Fort Collin’s beer crowd. Mixed cocktails are plenty, as well as some rather creative drinks. One such drink is called a “pizza shot” which is available for $5. I will let you discover that one on your own.
The opening of a bar and grill seems like brave choice for the Pflipsen family, but also one that may just pay out. During the summer, there is going be a slew of people all itching to get up to Horsetooth Reservoir, and if there is one thing I know about swimming and boating it is that it makes people hungry.
As long as people are willing to pay $15 for a pizza, JJ’s is a safe bet for families in need of a meal after a long day out on the water.
James Wyatt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @jwwyatt2295.