Posted on May 11, 2016 by www.livingstondaily.com
Say hello, Livingston County, to Cello Ristorante.
Restaurateur Adam Merkel confirmed Tuesday that he will open a modern Italian restaurant in downtown Howell shortly after he relocates Diamonds Steak & Seafood this summer to the Mr. B’s Rustic Tavern building, 101 W. Grand River Ave.
After Diamonds relocates, Cello Ristorante will open in the space vacated by Diamonds, 209 E. Grand River Ave. Merkel named Cello after limoncello, an Italian liqueur he fell in love with years ago that takes about two months to make.
“Our team has worked on the new concepts for months now, and we really feel like each one will be a great fit for the community,” Merkel said Tuesday. “It’s so exciting to be a part of all the great changes coming to downtown Howell.”
Merkel also will open The Silver Pig, 102 S. Michigan Ave., early this summer in the space formerly occupied by The Candy Bar that sits directly behind the current Mr. B’s. Construction of The Silver Pig began in April and is expected to take up to 90 days to complete.
The current Diamonds building will be renovated to make way for Cello, which will have an expanded bar and extra seating. Employees are expected to continue working in one of the restaurants throughout the renovations.
“Cello will be an approachable, fun, modern Italian restaurant and wine bar open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, serving fresh pasta, house-made limoncello and seasonal cellos, fresh seafood and a variety of shared authentic Italian plates from all regions of Italy,” Merkel posted Tuesday on Facebook. “We have also committed to a 100 percent Italian wine list serving different size pours so you can explore and taste as you wish, the first of its kind in Livingston County, and one of the only in Michigan.
“Our drinks will be innovative and crafted with care,” he added. “Our food will be relatable and affordable, yet unique and exciting.”
Merkel’s plan is to open The Silver Pig in July, then transform Mr. B’s into the bigger and better Diamonds in about a week or two in August or September. The restaurant will close for the week or two of the transformation.
Once Merkel opens the new Diamonds, he will close the old one and begin transforming it to Cello, which also should take about a week or two. Merkel will have farewell parties this summer before moving out of the old Diamonds space.
“We realize that Diamonds at 209 E. Grand River Ave. has been a big part of so many people’s lives,” he said. “We’ve had so many great memories, and over the next couple months we really look forward to seeing all the familiar faces to enjoy the current space a couple more times.”
Cello will not have a walk-in cooler, so fresh food will be delivered daily to make the menu items.
Diners who “like” the Cello Facebook page and “share” Diamonds’ Tuesday announcement will be entered to win tickets to the grand openings and press parties for all three restaurants.