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  • The redesign of Café Mezzanotte will modernize the restaurant’s ambiance while maintaining its warmth and appeal.
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    The redesign of Café Mezzanotte will modernize the restaurant’s ambiance while maintaining its warmth and appeal.

Café Mezzanotte Undergoes Renovations To Celebrate Important Milestone

Dylan Roche
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August 7, 2018

Anyone driving along Ritchie Highway might have noticed that one of Severna Park’s popular dining establishments has temporarily closed — emphasis, of course, on temporarily. But just as fine Italian cooking takes time to prepare, the atmosphere in which that food is enjoyed deserved the same care and attention, so loyal patrons of Café Mezzanotte can rest assured that the five weeks the restaurant is closed for a complete renovation will be well worth the wait.

The renovation will commemorate Café Mezzanotte’s 10th year under the ownership of Kosmas Koukoulis, who explained that the modernization will retain the restaurant’s warm and welcoming feel while bringing it up a notch. “In the last 10 years in general, we’ve been improving and evolving the quality of our food and level of our service,” he said. “At a certain point, that level of food and service is starting to outshine our ambiance, so part of this is to commemorate our 10 years here, and part of this is to bring the ambiance up to the same evolved level as the food and service.”

Koukoulis began envisioning the renovation in 2017 around the same time he was opening Mezz’s fast-casual sister restaurant, Capiche, but certain logistics meant he had to hold off, giving him extra time to plan. “It is as much work and thought as a brand-new restaurant opening,” he said. “I’m treating it like a brand-new restaurant, except one I have a good idea will already be successful and where I already have a staff trained and in place.”

The new Mezzanotte will retain its focus on good Italian cooking made with locally sourced, organic ingredients and reinventing classic Italian dishes with new ingredients, but everything else will be new — new logo, new signage, new uniforms, new tables, new chairs, new floor, new artwork and so forth.

Each of the restaurant’s spaces — the lounge, the main dining room and the two banquet rooms — will be made a little bigger. The lounge will get its own separate entrance, banquettes will be added to both the lounge and dining room, and one of the banquet rooms will be fitted with a built-in fireplace. These are but a few of the improvements that guests can look forward to.

Koukoulis also shared that the menu will have a few changes. “The menu will be a little bit smaller with more of a focus on execution, simplicity, letting the best ingredients shine, which is kind of an ode to Italian cooking anyway, an ode to farm-to-table cooking,” he said. “We pay for the best products we can get, so let’s show them off.”

On the date of the grand reopening, Thursday, September 13, patrons will be able to stop by 760 Ritchie Highway in Severna Park in person to see the new look and try the new menu. In the meantime, find and like “Café Mezzanotte” on Facebook or visit www.cafemezzanotte.com to stay updated.

“Our goal, as with any renovation, is to modernize the place a bit,” Koukoulis said. “But also to have enough restraint not to renovate it so much we lose our character and what made us special. The focus of this renovation is to enhance the rich, elegant feel while adding simpler design characteristics.”


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