Bar Guide: Offbeat, modern Outliers Eatery adds imagination to drinks
The building was once the home of the notorious rough-and-tumble Popeye's.
By SUSAN AXELROD
Picture the familiar, welcoming neighborhood bar and restaurant. Now, stand it on its head, send it down Alice's rabbit hole -- and you have Outliers Eatery in Portland's West End.
Perched on the neighborhood's southern edge, overlooking the Casco Bay Bridge, the building was once the home of the notorious rough-and-tumble Popeye's.
New owner Peter Verrill has transformed it into a stunning, modern but still casual space, where bar snacks run to crispy pigs' ears instead of chicken wings and the men's room is a tribute to "gonzo" journalist Hunter S. Thompson.
Verrill, who also owns Foreside Tavern in Falmouth, let his college pals Ryan Wither and Paul Lewin (who also designed the bar at Grace) have free rein with Outliers. (It's so well done, the duo recently won an award from the American Institute of Architects.) The bar is rough-textured, poured concrete, with comfortable, black swivel stools reminiscent of old desk chairs.
A wall of copper-colored,...