After nearly 20 years on Emmet Street, and more than a month of preparation, Carmello's will finally be re-opening in its new location on Fontaine Avenue this Friday, April 1. They hope. Owner Bill Hedges is still waiting for his new ABC licence, and he's not too happy about the wait.
"I have to apply all over again from scratch," says Hedges. "It's costing me $1,500 to re-apply for my ABC licence. It's pathetic having to go through all this rigmarole."
Still, he's taking it in stride. "So if it doesn't come by Friday," he laughs, "we'll just tell everyone it's an April Fool's joke and open on Monday."
Hedges says he's excited about the new space at 2208 Fontaine, the former home of Ludwig's Schnitzelhouse and Arirang Restaurant, because it's about three times the size of the old restaurant. Indeed, Hedges says he used to employ around 15 people at the old place, but now he's going to need at least 30 full- and part-time staff.
He's also brought some of the sights of Italy to the space, having hired an artist to paint Venice and the Coliseum on the walls.
"It's a beautiful place to visit now," he says. "But you can leave your passport at home."