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When Il Mondo Vecchio closed nearly two years ago, Denverites turned to restaurants like Luca and Old Major (and more recently Salt & Grinder) to get their fix of locally cured meats. Sliced on the premises, the heady prosciuttos, bresaolas, and sopressatas do wonders for sandwiches and salumi plates. It is, however, difficult to buy such meats in a retail setting.
Come spring 2015, Il Porcellino hopes to fill that gap. The salumeria (the name Il Porcellino means “The Little Pig” in Italian) will open at the Yard at Santa Fe, located between First and Ellsworth on Santa Fe Drive. The complex, the former home of Stark lumber yard, already houses Fin Art Co. and will soon be home to Renegade Brewing Company’s production facility and second taproom, a coffeeshop, and other businesses.
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Il Porcellino is a long time coming for Bill Miner and Brian Albano of Relish Catering & Events. “We started playing around with [cured meats] three years ago—everyone said we should sell it. We got serious, wrote a business plan, and shopped it around,” Miner says. The salumeria will focus on Italian-style cured meats but it will also offer items like Andouille. All of the meats will come from in-state. “Our slogan is Colorado Cured,” Miner says. The space will house windowed curing rooms, a butchering area, and a deli where customers can purchase sandwiches and picnic items, including, of course, the house-cured meats to take home.
Miner and Albano hope to start in retail and eventually work their way into the wholesale business. To make sure everything goes smoothly, the duo has enlisted the help of Mark DeNittis, one of the owners of the beloved Il Mondo Vecchio. “Mark is doing our HACCP plan and consultation work,” Miner says. “He was a trendsetter in this business and he has gone through it on a different level with the USDA.”
Unlike most businesses which open right away after being granted a certificate of occupancy from the city, Il Porcellino must follow a different track. Once the certificate is in hand, Miner and Albano will begin curing Il Porcellino’s meats. Roughly three months later, the salumeria will open its doors to the public.
900 W. First Ave., Suite 120