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Molalla's new pizza place

Two years ago, Tim and Gina Bilyeu started tossing around the idea of opening up a pizza restaurant. They even looked into a spot in downtown Molalla owned by Gary Deardorff, but Main Street Pizzeria opened in the location they were considering before they could form a solid plan.

Around two years later, they got a second chance. And the timing couldn’t have been better for them.

In December 2012, while working as a contractor, Tim fractured his back. “I decided it was time for a change,” he said.

He and his wife saw the for lease sign in what used to be Main Street Pizzeria. “The building got snagged quick last time,” Gina said.

So this time, they didn’t wait. They went to Deardorff and negotiated the lease.

“The Deardorffs are being awesome,” Tim said. “We’ve had zero problems with them so far. I recommend working with them.”

Gina agreed, adding that Deardorff provided them with plenty of time to get the remodel finished.

So, come Dec. 1, provided everything goes according to plan, Molalla will have a new pizza place—Passadorés.by: CORY MIMMS - From left to right: Tim and Gina Bilyeu, along with their children Ashley, Aaron and Austin Alexander. They all look forward to the restaurant's opening day, which is tentatively set for Dec. 1.

“We want it to be an artisan-style venue,” Tim said.

Beyond pizza, they will serve pasta and sandwiches, stock a large wine list, and keep 10 different beers on tap.

Gina and Tim have three kids who go to school in Molalla: Aaron, Austin and Ashley Alexander. So, the high school crowd, the post-game and post-practice crowd, are also important to Gina and Tim.

“The high school crowd has nowhere to get together now,” Ashley said, except for McDonalds. Passadorés will change that.

They aim to provide a place for a variety of crowds, Gina said. They’re installing flat screen TVs for sports viewing, and they will have high-top tables for people to sit at with a couple friends while grabbing a slice and a beer.

However, they are also installing tables where people can sit community style and sip wine, from budget to higher-priced bottles.

Three months away from opening, they are optimistic, and the process of getting everything ready for the remodel has gone mostly smoothly.

“The City manager has been phenomenal,” Gina said.

“The Fire Department too,” Tim added.

The only trouble they’ve run into is with the county. They intended to install a less expensive grease removal system, rather than a grease trap interceptor.

Before the city contracted out their planning department to Clackamas County, Tim said, the less expensive grease removal system was perfectly acceptable. But the county is stricter, Tim said, and it’s hitting their budget big. “It’s a difference between $500 and $15,000,” Tim said.

They’re still working through the issue, and in the meantime they’re plugging away at the remodel.

“We’re completely gutting everything,” Tim said.

The wall paneling has been torn down. The old tables and seats are stacked, ready to be sold. The bathroom will expand along with the restaurant’s entrance to more easily accommodate wheelchairs. The only thing that’s staying the same is the rustic tin panel above the counter. “I love it,” Gina said.

The biggest changes—or at least the tastiest changes—are in the kitchen. All new equipment is on the way, including a custom-built oven that can cook 54 pizzas an hour. They special ordered the oven from Picard, a Canadian manufacturer. “It’s a beautiful oven,” Tim said.

With Tim’s background in contracting, they’re able to do most of the remodel themselves. He’s even custom designing the tables.

Tim and Gina, originally from Milwaukie, have lived in Mulino since 2001. Their children are excited to work in the restaurant with them. “I’ll be the vice president,” Austin said joking.

They plan to have 140 seats available, 70 in the banquet hall and 70 in the front room. “This is the biggest venue in Molalla,” Tim said.

They’ve dedicated some of that space to video lottery. They’re shooting to install six machines, but that number may be lower until they establish themselves.

If you plan on swinging by and taking peek inside, too bad. The windows are covered in paper, and Tim and Gina are adamant that no one see the interior until it’s finished. They’re aiming to “shock and awe” their opening-weekend crowd, Tim said.



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