Construction Watch

Get a Taste of Il Porcellino Tonight, Before It Opens in Late October in Berkeley

Il Porcellino Salumi isn't quite ready to open in the Berkeley neighborhood; owners Bill Miner and Brian Albano are still waiting on final sign-off from the Denver Department of Environmental Health before they can begin production of their cured products. In the meantime, they're hosting an open house as part of the Tennyson Street Cultural District's First Friday art walk today. Strollers can stop in between 5 and 8 p.m. for a sneak peek of the butcher shop, salumeria and deli, where Miner and Albano will be handing out samples of pork-based bites and other treats.

Signs that the butcher shop and salumeria are nearly ready to begin production of all manner of dry-cured Italian meats and sausages are already evident at the space. Two Duroc hog halves were delivered by McDonald Family Farm earlier today that will soon be processed into Italian salami, cacciatore and other sausages, as well as whole-muscle items like coppa, fioccho and culatello.  Once the final paperwork is signed, Miner says it will take about three weeks before they'll have enough product to open the doors. At that point, they'll offer sandwiches, soups and salads for lunch in addition to their line of house-made products (which will continue to grow as items that take longer to cure are ready), Colorado cheeses and an array of pantry items.

Because Il Porcellino will be the first retail shop in Denver to make and sell its own cured meats, working with the city has been a learning process — for both sides. "The health department and our health inspector have been great," says Albano, noting that the department has worked with them to meet timelines and learn about their business goals. 

Miner and Albano are a couple of months behind their original plan to open this past summer, but delays have only added to the anticipation of residents of the Berkeley neighborhood, who have been stopping by regularly to check on the shop's progress. And soon they'll be able to pig out on Denver-made delights.

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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation