Norton C

Newest Martinez restaurant slated for December opening

Mercato Italiano will be the name of the newest addition to the Ole Restaurant Group portfolio when it opens later this year in Norton Commons. The casual Italian restaurant and Italian food market will be at 10640 Meeting St., in the space that most recently had been Scotty’s Market.

Although when Fernando Martinez closed Cena on Taylorsville Rd. earlier this year he promised that the Cena concept was not dead, Mercato Italiano will have a different focus from the high-style spot below Mussel and Burger Bar. Mercado Italiano will have a more casual vibe, and hopes to draw a lunch crowd too. The market part of the store will stock Italian cheese and sausages, olive oil and vinegar, homemade pastas and sauces.

The restaurant menu will include sandwiches and flatbreads, pastas, salads and Italian desserts such as tiramisu. The space will seat about 100, and have a full bar. Martinez’s new restaurant will join a few other new businesses getting set to open in Norton Commons – Citizen 7, a modern Mexican restaurant with a menu conceived and overseen by Allan Rosenberg of Fontleroy’s, and 502, a sports bar, all joining established businesses Tea Station Chinese Bistro, Verbena Cafe, Johnny Brusco’s Pizza, Karem’s andGelato Gilberto.