[Photos: Ted Axelrod]
It requires a little imagination, and maybe also a knowledge of Jay Villanis other two Portland restaurants — Local 188 and Sonnys — to envision his latest project, Salvage BBQ & Smokehouse.
The one-story building, the first home of Portland Architectural Salvage, originally housed a printing business. In the basement, where splashes of ink on the floor show where the press stood, Villani will locate the smoker, prep space, office and storage. On the main floor, there will be about 100 seats at picnic tables, a long bar, partially open kitchen and what he calls a “Little League banquette” along the back wall for large groups. A separate station up front will service take-out customers. Hes also thinking of putting in a beer garden in the adjacent parking lot. Villani and artist Pat Corrigan, who is also his business partner, incorporate salvaged materials and quirky objects into the design of their restaurants and they are already collecting stuff for Salvage. Floorboards found in the basement that were taken from the old Sportsmens Grill and had every nail painstakingly removed, will be the new restaurants floor. The bar top will be old bowling alley, from, appropriately, Portland Architectural Salvage. Villani says he plans to open in June.