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  • Kevin Elliott

D'Marcos liquor license coming from Rojo

Rochester City Council on Monday, December 18, will consider approving a request to transfer a Class C and special designated merchant liquor license from the former Rojo Mexican Bistro to D'Marcos Italian restaurant, 401 N. Main Street, which is expected to open by early 2018, after determining that a public hearing could be held on that date on Monday, November 27.

The new restaurant, operated by MDM Hospitality and owned by Mark Mendola, has secured a five-year lease at the location, and is purchasing the existing liquor license, furniture, fixtures and equipment for $100,001, according to documents filed with the city. A $500,000 renovation, which includes interior work by Birmingham-based Ron & Roman designers, is well underway, council was informed. The restaurant plans to have seating for 201 patrons for dining, including a private dining area and 22 seats at the bar.

Michael Thomas, Mendola's partner, told Downtown newsmagazine in October that the new restaurant will feature at least two dozen wines available by the glass, as well as another 40 to 50 available by the bottle. The menu will feature "Italian classics with a modern twist," using fresh made, high quality ingredients.

The restaurant proposes operating hours from 4 p.m. to midnight, Monday through Friday; from noon until midnight on Saturday; and from noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday. However, D'Marcos may extend hours based on customer demand. Mendola plans to hire about 50 full-time and part-time employees.

The special designated merchant liquor license will allow for beer and wine to-go or carryout sales. The request from the restaurateur also included Sunday alcohol sales, a dance/entertainment permit and one additional bar permit, along with the cancelation of an outdoor service area permit.

Council on Monday, November 27, unanimously approved holding a public hearing on Monday, December 18, prior to considering whether to approve the license transfer request.

Rojo Mexican Bistro closed in early October, following the company's Chapter 11 reorganization in 2016. Rojo closed temporarily in June 2017 following a salmonella outbreak in which some patrons became ill.

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