The Martinez family will open its first new restaurant of the New Year on Monday, Feb. 1.
The casual Italian eatery Mercato Italiano Trattoria and Market will open for dinner from 4 to 10 p.m. It is located at 10640 Meeting St. in Norton Commons.
Mercato Italiano is the latest restaurant created by Christina, Fernando and Yaniel Martinez, who already own and operate El Taco Luchador, Artesano Vino Tapas y Mas, Guaca Mole, and two Mussel & Burger Bar locations.
“People were asking us when we were going to open in Norton Commons, just customers who wanted us to come there,” Fernando Martinez previously told Insider Louisville. “It was something that started as rumor but became reality.”
The 100-seat, 3,300-square-foot restaurant is the trio’s second attempt at an Italian restaurant. The prolific restaurateurs closed Cena Italian Trattoria in November.
Several of Cena’s dishes will be featured on Mercato Italiano’s menu, Fernando Martinez said. However, unlike Cena, it will have a full bar.
Initially, Mercato Italiano will only serve dinner, but the Martinezes plan to add lunch service after a few months. A menu hasn’t been posted, but it include pizzas, fresh made pastas, oysters, meat and cheese plates, octopus and salads.
In addition to the restaurant, Mercato Italiano includes a small shop where people can buy charcuterie, meatballs, cheeses, olive oil, homemade bread, fresh pasta and packaged alcohol.
With Mercato Italiano nearly open, the Martinezes will set their sights on readying Red Barn Kitchen, a barbecue concept opening in the former Joe’s Older Than Dirt bar. The original open date was slated for February, but there’s been no word in months.
Since Mercato Italiano opening a couple months behind schedule, it seems safe to assume that Red Barn Kitchen’s opening has been pushed back into the spring. We’ll keep you posted.