But the space won't be vacant for long. Brian Rossi, owner of Adelitas Cocina y Cantina at 1294 South Broadway, is taking over the restaurant as of August 16 and will open a second Adelitas there by mid-September, after staff training and changes to the interior. The building that Adelitas will occupy was originally an automobile service station before it was converted into Merle's.
Rossi brings something that's been missing from the downtown Littleton of late: a restaurant dedicated to Mexican food. Longtime Littleton residents may remember Jose's just down the street, which suffered a long, slow decline before closing in 2014, and more recently, The Alley has ramped up its menu of Mexican bar bites and entrees. Rossi's brand of Mexican is heavily influenced by the food of Michoacán, and he also keeps a bar well stocked with tequila and mezcal. He's says he's been looking to expand Adelitas for several years, but until now had not found the right space.
Rossi notes that he's retaining all of Merle's staff who wish to stay. "We're hoping to bring everything that has made our South Broadway location a success to downtown Littleton," he notes. "We have an amazing staff that only wishes to provide main street with excellent customer service, fresh Michoacán Mexican food, craft cocktails...[and] a tequila and mezcal list."
Rossi also operates Palenque Mezcaleria and La Chupaflor Michoacán Ice Cream on the same block as the South Broadway Adelitas.