Sept. 21, 2015 03:41 PM

In partnership with Moody family, Sicilian restaurant and wine bar will open on Veterans Blvd. early next year.

Gene Todaro Sr. of Marcello's restaurants in Lafayette, New Orleans and, come January, Metairie.
Photo by Robin May

The owners of Marcello’s Restaurant and Wine Bar are teaming up with Lafayette businessman Kevin Moody of The Moody Company to open a Marcello’s location in Metairie early next year. The new partnership will convert The Moody Company’s Coyote Blues at 4860 Veterans Blvd. into the Todaros’ Sicilian concept that has been a big hit in Lafayette and an even bigger hit in New Orleans.

The deal was finalized late last week, and terms were not disclosed.

The Coyote Blues in Metairie, which opened in late 2012, was immediately shuttered to pave the way for the new Marcello’s, which is set to open in January.

Restaurateurs Gene Todaro Sr. and his son, Gene Jr., expanded to New Orleans in the summer of 2014, opening in a circa 1930s building on St. Charles Avenue. Last year, that restaurant was voted Concept of the Year by New Orleans Magazine and is recognized as having one of the Top 100 wine lists in America by OpenTable.

Marcello's extensive wine displays — OpenTable says it has one of the Top 100 wine lists in America — make it more of a hybrid wine bar/wine shop concept.
Photo by Robin May

In a press release, The Moody Company says it is venturing into a new direction with the Coyote Blues brand, a Mexican concept with Louisiana flair that was founded in Lafayette and now has stores in Lake Charles, Baton Rouge and Jackson, Tenn.

“The updated look and feel of Coyote Blues will require less square footage but will still provide its signature dishes influenced by the richness of Mexican and Louisiana cuisine,” the company states in the release.

That Marcello’s has been interested in expanding its concept, which requires a large space to accommodate its extensive display of wines, made for a unique opportunity to partner up, the two groups say.

“We look forward to our affiliation with Marcello’s as well as working with Gene and his team to further develop the Marcello’s brand,” Kevin Moody says in the release.

Gene Todaro Jr. and his father are expanding their popular Sicilian eatery to Metairie.
Photo by Robin May

The new Metairie location of Marcello’s will have the company’s trademark wine racks to display its wines, which are priced more closely to retail than most restaurants, and the ambiance and décor will aim to create the experience of dining in a winery, Gene Todaro Jr. tells ABiz.

At about 6,500 square feet, it’s significantly bigger than the New Orleans restaurant, which is 4,800 square feet, and Lafayette, which is about 4,000. The new location will accommodate larger private events than the existing Marcello’s restaurants.

The Moody Company has interests in newspapers, restaurants, real estate, oil and gas and private equity investments, and the Todaros also own Marcello’s wine shop on Johnston Street.

The Todaros also recently purchased the former Indulge Island Grill space in Downtown New Orleans, located on Carondelet Street just down the road from their existing eatery in the Central Business District. They converted it into a large private-party venue offering an outdoor pool as an added feature.

View a gallery of the New Orleans Marcello's here.

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