Likely, you’ve heard of Spedelli's. If you've been anywhere near the bastion of the snowboard scene that is Salt Lake City, Utah, you've probably even eaten there.
The lore of this pizza joint has spanned far and wide thanks to snowboarders support that has long outweighed its humble beginnings.
The dudes behind this eating empire are Mac and Sam Spedale. Former sponsored snowboarders, these brothers have been pumping out pies while maintaining a pulse in snowboarding since 2011.
They grew up in Anaheim, California and were first introduced to snowboarding in the spring of '95 on a family trip to Snowbird. Snowboarding quickly became an unshakeable habit (as it is for so many of us), so they set their sights on how to be fulfilled and keep doing it.
"Once upon a time, Sam and I were both sponsored snowboarders, chasing the dream and following the snow," mused Mac on the influence snowboarding has had.
“After moving to Salt Lake, we became involved in this incredible community of riders and knew we wanted to stick around for many years. Snowboarding has influenced everything in our lives since high school. It’s the reason Spedelli’s exists. We wanted to plant our roots in Salt Lake, have ample time to ride powder, and have something fun to contribute to the community."
Their illustrious snowboarding careers were getting them gear, but not really paying the bills while studying hard as full-time students at the University of Utah.
But, during those formative collegiate years, the seed for Spedelli's was conceived. The brothers were working at another local pizza shop delivering pies at night, going to class during the day, and sneaking in runs at Brighton as often as possible. Throughout those days of grinding, they schemed dreams for their own place.
"We thought of this crazy idea of owning our own restaurant, and we talked about it all the time with our friends without any sort of plan on how to accomplish such a big project," Mac admitted. "Then one day a friend called, and told us one of our local pizza shops had gone out of business and had left all of the equipment behind. Sam and I called the number on the “available” real estate sign and offered them our pitch. Within a few months we had the keys to a turn-key restaurant, and opened Spedelli's for business shortly after."
It was a gamble they were willing to take, and banked on the people that surrounded them to propel their pizza passion. "We had such a big and awesome community in Salt Lake and knew that if we marketed the place correctly, hosted events for the local shred and music scenes, and served quality food, we could have shot of making it in the insane restaurant world," said Mac.
Overtime, their recipe for success has continued to churn out a healthy business in the saturated Salt Lake restaurant scene.
Though their ownership hasn't been without ups and downs and they've weathered plenty of storms; they truly enjoy what they do. Drawn to the lively, spontaneous atmosphere of restaurant-life, their passion for the place has an endless supply of fuel.
"The best part of running the Spedelli's, is the fact that it never gets boring. We're not sitting at a desk, hating life, waiting for the clock to strike 5. Sam and I trade off working daytime and nighttime shifts, so we both still get to snowboard at least 4 or 5 days a week," said Mac.
When discussing the hardships that have come from running the place, Mac said that the short-term commitment of the employees can sometimes be one of the most annoying parts. "We usually have a solid crew of fun people to work with, but nobody plans on working here forever. So we are constantly looking for new employees, which can be kind of stressful. Shout outs to the long term guys, we love you."
Food wise, Spedelli's serves not only pizza, but wings, tacos, burgers, apps and also offers a full bar. Some favorites are the Hot Carlson pie covered with pepperoni and medley of fresh veggies and garlic, the spicy agave wings, and the World’s Best Fish Tacos which drip with delight. There's even a couple "secret menu items.” The most popular are the Bogey style wings. Invented by pro snowboarder and Spedelli’s kitchen employee, Ben Bogart, these saucy staples are often a solid go-to during rowdy evenings of apres.
Located just a few minutes from downtown, and near both Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons, the snowboard culture is alive and well at Spedelli's. Especially after a powder day. Throughout the season, they host video premieres and their staff is typically all serious boarders.
Regular-wise, Mac says, "We’ve been visited by just about every shred you can think of: Bode Merrill, Chris Grenier, Bjorn Leines, Jeremy and JP, MFM, Mike Leblanc, Shane Charlebois, Seth Huot and all the Salt Lake legends. Jamie Lynn played a show after the Holy Bowly one year, which was incredible."
With so many curious creatures coming through Spedelli's, there has been many a-crazy night. "The wildest thing that has happened at Spedelli’s has got to be the night the entire Girl/Chocolate skate teams showed up for dinner after a demo. It was everyone, Koston, Malto, Biebel, Marc Johnson, Kenny Anderson, Mike Mo, etc.," reminiscences Mac.
"After enjoying a feast, the dudes decided they really wanted to party. We all got pretty turnt at the restaurant, then drove around the entire night with 30 people in a box truck, showing them some of our favorite bars. We’ll leave the dirty details out, but it's safe to say they were hyped on their tour de SLC."
With more nights like that likely to occur, we asked the Spedale's what their plans are for this season. "It's pretty simple," said Mac. "Ride the amazing Brighton resort and explore new zones all over Utah on the splitboard. We're just trying to fit as much powder into our busy schedules as humanly possible."
So next time you're in SLC, stop by Spedelli's, order some Bogey Wings and slurp down a cold one for us.
"This is such a fun easy vibe for a pizza and hanging out watching sports ! It’s a cool place to exchange for your typical sports bar with super nice service and delicious fish tacos + wings" -- Catherine K, LA.
"I love it here! I love all the cute kids who run the joint! Their food is delicious. Their wings are the best I’ve ever had! On my most recent visit, I had the BBQ bacon burger… It was fantastic!! Everything I eat here is amazing. Did I mention I love the kids who run the place? I do! My only complaint is that it was cold one time… but it’s warm now… so… No Complaints!" --- Lisa S. SLC.
Anything in the area that’s open on a Sunday deserves minimum 3 stars just for the effort. It was fairly empty on a Sunday afternoon but that didn’t bother us one bit. Service was attentive and we had a Hawaiian pizza which was excellent." --- Sue F. Sandy, UT
2291 E 3300 S
Salt Lake City, Utah
How to Get There?
From Downtown/North Salt Lake:
Take I-15 southbound to the I-80 East interchange. Merge right onto I-80 East and after 7.5 miles veer right onto I-215 South/Belt Route. Almost immediately, take exit 3 and turn right onto 3300 South (UT-171). We are just over a half mile down on the right, in the strip just west of Cafe Rio.
From Park City/Eastern Utah:
Travel west on I-80 down through Parley's Canyon towards Salt Lake. At the mouth of the canyon, veer left onto I-215 South/Belt Route. Almost immediately, take exit 3 and turn right onto 3300 South (UT-171). We are just over a half mile down on the right, in the strip just west of Cafe Rio.
From West Valley:
Travel east on UT-201 to the I-80 E interchange and veer right to merge onto I-80. After 7.5 miles veer right onto I-215 South/Belt Route and, almost immediately, take exit 3 and turn right onto 3300 South (UT-171). We are just over a half mile down on the right, in the strip just west of Cafe Rio.
From Provo/Southern Utah:
Take I-15 northbound to the interchange with I-215 East and merge right onto the Belt Route. After approximately 5 miles, take exit 4, and turn left onto Wasatch Blvd. Just over a mile you will come to a light with 3300 South (UT-171). Turn left and continue for a half mile. We are on the right, in the strip just west of Cafe Rio.