By Ryan Wynne
Due to unexpected renovations, Man Pies will not be opening this weekend as previously planned. However, the 1215 Railroad Ave. restaurant isn’t too far behind schedule and owner Nathan Lowe said he and co-owner Bryce Sharp hope to open between June 10 and 15.
Lowe said the two have been renovating the space almost seven days a week for about three months.
“Every surface possible has been stripped, gutted, redone and retextured,” Lowe said.
But the two are still in good spirits. They got a good deal on the city-owned space because of those renovations, and Lowe said he has been able to put his past experiences to work. He was an electrician’s apprentice at one point and has carpentry experience, the most recent of which came from working as a cabinet maker.
The business itself will also allow the two to put their gleaned life experiences into action. Lowe has run other businesses, Nepenthe Charters and ― in the 80s and 90s― the nightclub Speed O’Tubbs. Sharp brings with him experience as a chef and computer programer in California.
“Even if you do things in life that don’t seem to matter much, all those skills come into play when you take on an undertaking like this,” Lowe said.
He encouraged people to go out and get as many experiences as possible. He said he and Sharp wouldn’t have been able to take on this project without their life experiences.
The idea to bring savory meat pies to Bellingham came when Sharp returned from travels abroad about a year ago and asked where he could find one. Not long after that the two began cooking up ideas to serve them here.
Sharp and Lowe are using their own recipes and will serve five different flakey-crusted pies including: a curry pie, beef and turkey pies, a pie with caramelized onion, kalamata olives and goat cheese, a ham, egg and cheese pie and a dessert pie. Lowe said the pies are similar to pot pies, but are self contained in their crust and can be eaten like a sandwich.
That design will help the Man Pie owners stick to their goal of providing food that can be taken on the go.
“We want people to be able to come in a get something quickly,” Lowe said.
When renovations are finished and the two finally open, they will do so with more of a whisper than a bang. Lowe said the buzz is heavy and he’s afraid a grand opening would bring in more customers than they can handle. They might bring out the bells and whistles a month after their original opening, though, he said.