Li'l Woody's is in that buildout phase where the space looks months away from readiness, but will actually be pulled together within a few days. The burger shop, located on Pine Street near Bauhaus and Machiavelli, and around the corner from Melrose Market, is the latest project from Capitol Hill denizen Marcus Lalario. He's part owner of HG Lodge and patio destination Captain Black's (and an investor in Molly Moon's, Havana Social Club and The Saint). So yeah, Capitol Hill denizen.
The restaurant will likely open next Friday, or perhaps the Friday after. The kitchen is almost fully installed, and then Lalario and his team will get in there and start tweaking burger recipes. Heading the kitchen is Joram Young, previously of Dot's Cafe in Portland, who is coming over from Captain Black's.
Burgerphiles following Li'l Woody's Twitter and Facebook have likely seen the teasing tweets about the burgers (Painted Hills beef), fries (local potatoes, soaked and fried in-house), onion rings (house-made) and milkshakes (nine flavors, Molly Moon's). Signature burgers include "the fig and the pig," with bacon, Boat Street Cafe pickled figs, and gorgonzola. A fried chicken sandwich and a veggie burger are also slated for the menu. The plan also includes weekly and monthly specialty burgers. On the beverage front, look for beer and wine, Mexican Coke and artisanal ginger ale and other fancy sodas.
The space has a mezzanine that seats about 20, and the counter, the walls and plenty of other surfaces are covered in reclaimed wood. Some of the slates were ripped down from the space's former ceiling, others came from a friend of Lalario's who was tearing down a cedar fence.
Lalario landed in the former Juliano's Pizza space after an 18-month search that almost had him moving in a few doors down from Marination Station. The burger shop will open for lunch and stay open until 11 p.m. on weeknights and, in true Hill fashion, serve burgers until 3 a.m. on weekends.