Scileppi’s at The Old Stone Church takes communion to whole new level. At this historical Catholic church in Castle Rock, the pews and altars are replaced by family dining rooms and the bread of Christ is replaced with Italian butter bread.
The Old Stone Church was the first St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Castle Rock built in 1888. It served the religious community for over 70 years until 1966 when the parish relocated to a larger worship just east of Castle Rock. The old church stood dormant until 1975 when it was repurposed into The Old Stone Church Restaurant. In 2018, the restaurant had been passed to Lou Scileppi who is also the owner of SliceWorks pizzeria in Denver.
Lou and his brother, Vinny Scileppi, thought this historical church would be a perfect family-oriented restaurant while also allowing Lou to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Lou is no stranger to owning and operating restaurants in Colorado, the first SliceWorks opened in 2012 on Colfax Avenue and the second location opened in LoDo just a few years later.
The Scileppi family comes from operating New York-style pizza joints in Long Island, New York but in 1995, they relocated to the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Lou may have previously had a career as a commercial pilot but cooking traditional Italian food had always been a part of his life. With a combined 30 years of restaurant experience, the Scileppi brothers chose to serve traditional Italian food with a new world theme in Colorado.
In a town of roughly 64,000 people, it was easier for Scileppi to build a family-style community rather than trying to achieve this in Denver’s jam-packed environment. Historically, The Old Stone Church Restaurant was known as a fancy sit-down restaurant with higher-end cuisine. Lou wanted to make the cuisine a high-quality Italian fare without isolating families in the community and downplaying the elegance that comes with attending church. This Italian eatery offers both an upscale environment in the dining area as well as a casual vibe in the SliceWorks area for diners just grabbing a quick beer and slice of pizza.
Lou incorporated a SliceWorks into the building under a name with more religious undertones, SliceWorks Purgatory. It’s debatable that a pizza purgatory exists but in Lou’s world it certainly does. The menu offers the same delicious gourmet slices of pizza that the Denver locations serve like a classic spicy pepperoni slice ($3.50) or a Jalapeno Popper slice with cream cheese, fresh jalapenos, mozzarella, cheddar cheese and grape jelly ($4.50).
Not only does the restaurant embrace its historical religious past from the original stone façade, stained-glass windows, and unique confessional inspired seating but the menu is also modeled after different editions of the bible.
The entrées are separated into two sections both traditional and modern takes on Italian fare. Under the Old Testament, you’ll find a massive piece of lasagna ($17) made with layers of homemade pasta, a three-cheese blend, sprinkles of tender ground beef and sausage all smothered in San Marzano tomato sauce.
The New Testament offers a twist on traditional Italian dishes like stuffed shrimp ($25)— sweet crab-stuffed jumbo shrimp swimming in a bed of linguini and lemon garlic butter sauce.
For the table, the original Scileppi Family Meatballs ($7) will comfort your tastebuds with a melt in your mouth tenderness to the meat and a creaminess from the perfectly seasoned fresh ricotta. The Eggplant Fries ($8) are a unique substitution to the classic garlic bread accompanied with the main course. These crispy baked fries satisfy that crunchy craving with a sweet side of marinara for dipping.
A few of these recipes are carried down from generations of Scileppis, while the rest of the dishes are picked up over time after long brain-picking sessions between Lou and an abundance of chefs.
Whether you are there for a fancy date night or a casual bite to eat, Scileppi’s at The Old Stone Church has a meal to offer everyone. The confessional style seating is reserved for parties of two only to confess their sins and enjoy delicious Italian food. These seats are in high demand, so early reservations are recommended.
You don’t have to be religious in any way to attend this church, just be ready to worship the handcrafted Italian food that the Scileppis have brought to Castle Rock.
Scileppi’s at The Old Stone Church is located at 210 Third St., Castle Rock. It is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
All Photography Courtesy Of Scileppi’s at The Old Stone Church.