Melini is expanding menu, seating options

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Melini Italian Ristorante in Ironton will soon have outside seating and is expanding the items on its menu. (The Tribune|Mark Shaffer)

Restaurant has been in downtown Ironton since 2006

Melini Italian Ristorante, a longtime focal point of dining in downtown Ironton, will be expanding to outside seating soon.

 “We are looking to do some expansions on the business,” explained Hattie, the restaurant’s bartender. “We are looking to do some outside dining. We are going to take some of the space in the back room of the kitchen and putting in a server station so servers will have easy access to sidewalk.”

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They have already purchased tables, chairs and umbrellas for the outside seating to be more accommodating for patrons. 

“We are looking at April 1, hopefully,” Hattie said. “If we can start earlier, like if we had some nice weather, we might. But April 1 is what we are shooting for.”

The restaurant opened in 2006 in the former CR Thomas Old Place on 124 S. Second St.

Emmanuel Martinez bought the restaurant a year ago. He started off as one of the dishwashers 15 years ago.

He said that they have made some changes to the menu, just recently adding a lunch menu with favorites like cheese, meat or shrimp ravioli, baked ziti, chicken fettuccine, manicotti and baked spaghetti for dine in patrons.

Assistant manager Amelia Robinson said they ran food specials to see which ones were most popular.

“We have a brandied cream sauce and it is so good,” she said. “The Pollo rosa is amazing. We have sunset salmon with a balsamic glaze on top is great.”

“Every month we try to a have a special,” Hattie said. “In February, for Valentine’s Day, we had strawberry flavored drinks. This month, we had green colored drinks for St. Patrick’s Day and anything Irish.” 

Hattie said they enjoy being one of the core businesses in downtown Ironton.

“I love it. Ironton is a great city,” she said. “I think it has a lot of potential. It makes me sad to see a lot of the empty spaces here, but I hope that changes soon.”

She added that it is great the people cross the bridge to visit that the restaurant on a regular basis.

“It is really great that Melini has lasted as long as it has,” Hattie said. “And with Emmanuel’s new ownership, it has gotten better, I feel. A lot of people have said that the quality of the food has improved and the service has gotten better. That makes me happy.” 

Melini Italian Ristorante is open from 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m., Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.–10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Their website is