- Eastern Market restaurant, with same menu, to reopen in early November
- $125,000 in renovations planned
- Sunday hours, bocce ball court and outdoor bar in the works
Roma Café in Detroit’s Eastern Market is set to reopen with a new name and the family blessing of its former owner.
Amore Da Roma is expected to open in early November in the space formerly occupied by Roma Café, the popular Italian eatery that had been owned by the Sossi family for 127 years before Janet Sossi Belcoure closed it in July.
She transferred the building’s lease to Guy Pelino, 58, who has been executive chef there for three years and wrote the most recent menu.
“Since I’ve been here, the whole place has really felt like a family, so much tradition and so much love for this restaurant,” Pelino said. “I didn’t want to displace all these people that have been here for so long, and I don’t want to look for a new job at my age.”
Amore Da Roma will have the same menu Roma Cafe had before closing its doors and Pelino will bring back most of the 35-40 Roma Cafe employees. Pelino will continue to head up the kitchen alongside the same cooks.
What will change is the aesthetics. Pelino said he has spent about $60,000 in renovations so far and will likely be about $125,000 into it by the time the build-out is done.
Pelino said he is handling the contracting. He applied for a Motor City Match grant and CEED loan to help fund an exterior facelift for the restaurant.
“We’re trying to bring it back more to the 1900s as far as the look of the place,” he said.
Visitors can expect an enhanced vintage feel, with a refurbished bar and bathrooms, new flooring and ceiling, new kitchen equipment and walk-in freezer and new air-conditioning system. Layout will stay largely the same; no walls will be demolished.
During the renovations, Pelino said he found pictures of Eastern Market from the 1930s and 1940s, which will be framed and hung on the walls of the restaurant. Local artists have also been invited to help…