A little about us...
Originally opened in 2011, Bagalis is now chef-owned and features an internationally inspired menu with locally sourced ingredients. Chef-owned restaurants are typically heralded for their commitment to lovingly prepared cuisine and the highest quality of ingredients. Under the ownership of Chef Michal Ulehla and manager Joyce De La Torre, Bagalis on Main Street Frisco is no exception.
Growing up in the Czech Republic, Ulehla grew his own food in his garden and sold his produce at market, developing the know-how to select, and prepare, great food.
Ulehla and his wife and business partner De La Torre, have managed restaurants and cooked in Summit County since 2009. De La Torre worked at the Blue River Bistro, the Hearthstone and The Cellar, where Ulehla worked as head chef.
The couple also did a stint living and working around Sonoma County, California, to expand their experience in the restaurant business and live closer to wine country. Ulehla gained experience in Chicago’s Alinea, a rare three-star Michelin ranked restaurant, as well as in other Michelin-ranked properties around Healdsburg, California.
But the lure of Colorado was too strong, and the two returned to run, and eventually take over ownership of, the newly opened Bagalis in Frisco in 2011. Packing up golden retrievers Raya and Rocco and daughter Natalia (they have since added a second daughter to the family, Mia), De La Torre and Ulehla were happy to return to the outdoor lifestyle and community they had grown to love here in Summit County.
Falling into ownership with a clean slate was something of a dream come true for the duo. They strive to create — and have achieved — a comfortable atmosphere with reasonable prices, and locally sourced, hand-made foods whenever possible. They have essentially started from scratch with Bagalis Italian restaurant in Frisco, Colorado, not only with the food and menus, but also with their commitment to customer service, affordability and quality.
“The menu has changed a lot,” De La Torre said of their takeover. “Most of it is made in the restaurant now, from the bread to desserts. The service has changed a lot too…we want everybody to feel welcome and really enjoy themselves. Our wines are affordable, and we just want to everybody to have fun.”
Both owners have rich food and beverage backgrounds, as well as multi-cultural backgrounds spanning from Mexico to Eastern Europe, and this shines through in both cuisine and atmosphere. This variety, combined with Ulehla’s experience of living close to the source of the food, is a recipe for a locally owned success story. “While we are classically Italian in many aspects, we also reflect an international influence of fresh ingredients,” De La Torre said. “We have a commitment to creating a harmonious and symbiotic relationship between food and wines of the world. Our menu is changed based on the ingredients that are available in the season, so there are always exiting new things with every season.”
Despite the beautiful décor and the couple’s extensive food and beverage resume, Bagalis is not, in the words of Torre, fine dining. “We are casual dining with great atmosphere,” she said. “Our food is made from simple ingredients to make the food shine. We try to get the best ingredients, ideally from Colorado whenever possible, and our staff tries to improve everyday, learning about our food, our wine and cocktails.”
In order to help patrons learn about the restaurant’s top-notch offerings, Bagalis offers a daily happy hour from 4:30 to 6 p.m., featuring wine, beer and cocktail specials and two-for-one pizzas and appetizers.
Whether it’s the community table available for families and large groups, the intimate fireside seating or the friendly bar atmosphere that draws customers in, Bagalis restaurant in Frisco, Colorado has a fresh face, and even fresher food, that offers something for everyone.