Like L’Opossum owner and chef David Shannon’s extravagant names for dishes — Fabergé egg bèdazzled with caviar or hot black bottom à la mode — the interior of his restaurant makes you think of choices a louche Pee Wee Herman might make when he finally grew up. “I love blending really good things with the stuff that I find in alleys or yard sales,” says Shannon. He started collecting and storing things for L’Opossum long before he seriously began looking for a place. Here are few of his favorite things. “I could easily make five more lists,” he says.
1. Twenty-six statue of David figurines — they’re cheap Chinese knockoffs of Michelangelo’s version. I’m making serious fun of the stereotype of the chef’s ego by having nude Davids — me — everywhere.
2. A portrait of Andy Warhol by my friend Louis Briel — Louis just had his third painting selected to hang at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington.
3. All of my collector plates: The mass-produced “Star Wars” ones, the harder-to-find “Dark Shadows” plates, John Waters’ Barbie series, Liberace plates, Robert Mapplethorpe’s flowers and Michael Jackson with his chimp, Bubbles, by artist Jeff Koons.
4. Donnie Corker, aka Dirt Woman, a portrait by Jen Rockwell. It was a welcome-to-Oregon-Hill gift from Ed Vasaio and the Mamma ’Zu crew.
5. Artist Jennifer Holloway’s portrait of Nick Cave next to the albino possum taxidermy. She is a dear friend since we worked together at Helen’s. I have four of her paintings. I’m a huge Nick Cave fan, and she painted this back in our Helen’s days. It has hung at Helen’s, Dogwood Grille and now with my possum, Lola.