First Look

First Look: Myke's Pizza Inside Downtown Mesa's Revamped Cider Corps

The new taproom at Cider Corps with Myke's Pizza in the back.
The new taproom at Cider Corps with Myke's Pizza in the back. Lauren Cusimano
As we reported in February, major upgrades were coming to Myke’s Pizza and Cider Corps in downtown Mesa. The popular pizza operation overseen by Myke Olsen was a pop-up, functioning on the sidewalk off Main Street and recently, just before the cidery’s entrance. But this month, the two east Valley businesses decided to team up, revamp, and reopen.

To recap, Olsen started in fall 2016 as a one-man pizza place with two gas-fired ovens, some dough, some toppings, and some skepticism — which didn't last, or so it seems. For years, people were lining up for the Neapolitan-style pizza on the two nights a week the setup was even running.

For a time, Olsen’s particular patch of sidewalk led to Cider Corps, a cider shop opened on Veterans Day 2017 and operated by brothers Jason and Josh Duren.

After plans were put into action this spring, Olsen and business partner and co-owner Manoly Kladovasilakis opened Myke’s Pizza inside Cider Corps.


click to enlarge Cider and pizza are an amazing pair. - LAUREN CUSIMANO
Cider and pizza are an amazing pair.
Lauren Cusimano
Myke’s Pizza was in a short, soft-open phase as it transitioned to the indoor space, and got used to a permanent, Renato wood-fire oven and roof. Now, Myke’s is able to bake five pizzas at a time, one of each if someone orders the five styles now offered at the pizzeria. A big recommend: the salami with that spicy honey.

Other pizza options include the margherita, potato and bacon, arugula, and tomato pie. Side dishes and salads are on the wish list for a future expanded Myke’s menu.

click to enlarge The new patio outside the cidery — or outsidery. - LAUREN CUSIMANO
The new patio outside the cidery — or outsidery.
Lauren Cusimano
Myke’s operates in the back of the craft cidery, in a place that was originally for storage and hidden by a giant American flag. (Now, the flag covers the wall in the front room.)

In addition to the on-site fast-casual pizza joint, Cider Corps added some more color, a mural, and updated the seating. It also spread out to include a 40-seat patio and some additional production space.

That additional space totals 2,000 square feet, and accommodates 10 new fermenters for current and new bottling lines. The additional equipment ranges in capacity from 12 to 30 barrels. That means Cider Corps can produce four times as much as before; therefore, the team will be expanding to 12 or 14 people sometime this year.

click to enlarge The Duren brothers are able to make four times as much cider. - LAUREN CUSIMANO
The Duren brothers are able to make four times as much cider.
Lauren Cusimano
Myke’s Pizza will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 4 to 9 p.m. on Saturday. Cider Corps is open daily, 3 to 10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 3 p.m. to midnight Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. When Myke’s is closed, Cider Corps will host a revolving line of food trucks, as the taproom is always BYOF (bring your own food).

For location and more information, see the websites for Myke’s Pizza or Cider Corps
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lauren Cusimano is Phoenix New Times' food and drink editor. She is a journalist and food waste writer based in Tempe. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Contact: Lauren Cusimano