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palioPalio Ristorante — a longtime Ann Arbor favorite — has announced that it will be expanding to Grand Rapids. The new location is set to open on Medical Mile sometime in the spring.

Mainstreet Ventures owns Palio Ristorante in addition to the Chop House in Ann Arbor and in downtown Grand Rapids. Other restaurants owned by the company include Gratzi, Carson’s, Real Seafood Company, La Dolce Vita, and several others in 12 cities across five different states.

The new Palio location will be where El Barrio Mexican Grill on Michigan Street NE was operating previously. Before opening their new location, Mainstreet will completely renovate the old space.

The company has put forth a budget of $400,000 for a complete floor-to-ceiling remodel of the building’s interior. Some of the new additions will include a pizza oven in full view of the restaurant and a brand new bar. Mainstreet prides itself on creating venues in which patrons can watch their food being made, and that’s their goal in the new location as well.

The menu will be filled with Tuscan-inspired dishes such as fettuccine, carbonara, pizza, and lasagna. For the 10% of U.S. adults who largely follow a vegetarian-inclined diet, this might not be a go-to dining establishment. But in addition to all of those dishes, the menu will offer craft beer, cocktails, and an extensive wine list.

The original Palio location in Ann Arbor opened in 1991 and was named for the famous horse race that occurs in Italy twice annually. The original location actually features a wall covered in pictures of the race’s victors over the years.

The new Grand Rapids location will be open for lunch and dinner, seating approximately 150 people indoors and another 50 on an outdoor patio during warmer months. The new location will begin accepting applications on March 19.

The new restaurant is certainly a welcome change for many residents in Grand Rapids, as well as something to look forward to in the coming spring.

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