PDT Staff Writer
Portsmouth is getting a new restaurant in a popular location.
Williams Restaurant, 603 Chillicothe St., is closed, and Melini's is on the way.
People attempting to have lunch at Williams Restaurant Wednesday found a locked door, prompting a lot of speculation as to why the restaurant was not open.
Portsmouth attorney and city council member Mike Mearan returned a call asking about the closing, and, after placing a call, talked about the future of the location.
Melini Cucina Italian Ristorante is well-known in Ironton, and Benus Melini has a location in Grayson, Ky. as well as several other cities. Now, they will have a presence in Portsmouth.
According to Mearan, Melini is in the process of completely re-doing the kitchen, but expects to leave much of the decor the same.
Another familiar face at Williams will still be at the restaurant.
"Bill Harmon, the owner of Williams, is staying on, and all of his people are staying on," Mearan said. "They're going to be working there."
Mearan said his daughter owns the liquor license for that address under the name Erike Enterprises, and is in the process of transferring the license to Melini.
Mearan said Portsmouth realtor Neal Hatcher owns the actual building.
"This is going to be a great thing for downtown to have this in here," Mearan said. "People at businesses will be able to go up there and eat their lunches."