June 13, 2024

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Loveland’s big ballers, Bryan Fyok and crew to appear on the Cooking Channel

If you thought the appeal of a meatball was nothing more than something atop a pile of spaghetti noodles or nestled into the wedge of a sub sandwich, Bryan Fyock of The Ball Joint is here to prove you wrong.

Fyock and his crew, Julia Mirowski and Lexi Dubberly, recently announced they were chosen to appear on an episode of “Food Paradise,” which runs on the Cooking Channel.

“Food Paradise” seeks out “must see spots across the country that have a one-of-a-kind dining experience,” the Cooking Channel says on its website. From pizza to bacon and seafood to deep-fried dishes, if it’s unique, unusual and basically a “food unicorn,” they want to film it.

Producers from the Cooking Channel were in town shooting an episode of “Restaurant: Impossible” at another local business when they discovered The Ball Joint.

“We were just plugging along, doing our thing and I get a phone call. It was a Friday, right before dinner rush and I was by myself, and I thought, ‘Oh God, I really can’t handle a phone call right now,’” Fyock said. “So this lady on the phone says, ‘I’m with so and so productions, and I am calling on behalf of the Cooking Channel and we are doing a television show.’”

Thinking it was a joke set up by his wife for friends, Fyock initially laughed at the offer.

“She keeps explaining that she was with the show ‘Food Paradise’ and they were doing a new season and looking around north of Denver area for restaurants and my restaurant looked interesting,” he said. “Again, I said, ‘Ha, ha. Stop it.’ And she said, ‘Hey, if you don’t want to be on a national show, I’ll end the call.’ So I listened as she went on and convinced me who she was and sent me an email with a bunch of information.”

After completing the channel’s vetting process, a film crew showed up at The Ball Joint’s door this past August to film their part of the episode.

“There was cameras set up everywhere in the back and in the front,” Fyock said. “I thought they were going to film a certain way, and well, they are a professional film crew and have been to hundreds of restaurants doing this, so they just tightened up this little spot in the back.”

The Ball Joint in Loveland offers food in a unique and fun fashion.

Prior to the shoot, producers browsed Fyock’s menu and chose a few things that they wanted him to demonstrate how to cook. From there, ingredients for each menu item were set up, Fyock made his magic meatballs and the camera shot the finished product.

“They kind of had a little script of things that I might talk about or say, kind of like a framework,” Fyock said. “So for each dish I would say, ‘OK, now we are going to add salt and pepper and whatever else.’ Then they’d cut the camera and I’d make the dish and boom. I’d turn to the camera and say, ‘Here’s the Mac and Cheese Heaven,’ or whatever it was and show it to the camera.”

While a majority of the shots took place in the kitchen, the crew did film the front of the house as well as the restaurant’s patio area.

“It was definitely very different from our end,” Mirowski said. “You had to be really quiet because the cameras pick up any little noise in the background. So we would be tiptoeing around the front.”

The Ball Joint serves more than just gourmet meat balls. Try their macaroni and cheese,
The Ball Joint serves more than just gourmet meatballs. Try their macaroni and cheese…with balls. (Greeley Tribune file photo)

Both Mirowski and Dubberly were introduced to the world of hand-modeling as they held up the dishes.

“We had to dip into the mac and cheese and see the stinginess and rotate it and stuff like that,” Mirowski said. “We were both really happy that we got a manicure before filming.”

People seen in the episode are a mixture of friends and customers Fyock invited as well as some unknown folks.

“It was definitely interesting seeing the people that I know have been to our restaurant before talk about our food like it’s the first time they’ve had it. That was pretty funny,” Julia said. “But it was also nice to see people we weren’t familiar with.”

While it took a full day to film the spot, the actual footage will be cut down to seven minutes, Fyock said.

“A whole day, a dozen people here just to get seven minutes,” he said, laughing.

The Ball Joint in Loveland offers food in a fun and unique fashion. (Greeley Tribune file photo)

Fyock and The Ball Joint’s spot is set to air on the Wednesday, Jan. 26 episode of “Food Paradise” and can be accessed on the Cooking Channel through Discovery+. In addition to running in the U.S., the show will air internationally.

“It’s all over the world and will be in a number of languages, so they will be translating it,” Fyock said. “So we had to do all of this extra filming because the segments are different lengths in different countries. I am curious to see what the international show will be like.”

Fyock, Mirowski and Dubberly had to keep the filming a secret until the Cooking Channel gave them the OK to let the ball out of the bag. Since announcing their stint on the show, the three have seen an increase in business.

“I would say over the last two months, business was ascending. We were just choking to death,” Fyock said. “Once I put out about the TV show and it’s coming, we are about now two and a half times over the last week. I’ve always been dead Christmas week, but we had our biggest Tuesday ever this week.

Choose your ball and sauce ??

“It hasn’t even aired yet, so I can only imagine what it will be like after,” he added.

The three are just as excited to see the episode as their friends, family and customers are.

“We haven’t seen it, but from what I heard, it’s going to be good. They told us that day that they were going to make us look great; that’s what they do,” Fyock said.

“I’m anxious to see how it turned out,” Mirowski added.

Before landing in Loveland, Fyock began his ballsy adventure into the food industry in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. He and his wife eventually moved to northern Colorado where he relaunched the concept at Brix Brew and Tap in Greeley and then left Brix to open his own brick-and-mortar business in Loveland in a small 112-year-old house at 434 Garfield Ave.

All of the dishes on the menu are from family recipes or Fyock’s own creations. The restaurant uses freshly ground meats and scratch-made sauces. Customers can also enjoy a variety of beer, wine, cocktails and soft drinks.

The restaurant offers takeout, curbside pickup, in-door and outdoor dining options as well as delivery through NOSH and other delivery companies. Catering for parties and large gatherings is also available, and their Ballroom can be reserved for private events.

“I am extremely comfortable in putting my food in front of someone. Yeah, there is other amazing food out there, but ours will stand up and I feel good about it,” Fyock said. “I’m not saying we are the best anything. I am letting people decide that.”

For more information on The Ball Joint, go to www.iwantballs.com.