After 26 years in its current spot, a miracle by any restaurant standard, Adelmo's Ristorante will leave its quaint perch off Knox Street and relocate to Inwood Village, where it will take over the space vacated by the recently departed Bijoux.
Namesake owner Adelmo Banchetti says that the Knox Street neighborhood has undergone a dramatic upheaval, with the construction of hundreds of apartments.
"The area has changed so much, from when it was just antique stores and a Tom Thumb," Banchetti says. But the biggest game changer is the new Trader Joe's coming in.
"I have lost so much business thanks to this construction next to me," he says. "I'm sorry to leave, but not really."
Banchetti is the consummate host who greets every customer like a friend. His restaurant is known for its Italian food "with accents" of French and Mediterranean, including delicate pastas; risotto; and light entrees such as salmon with tomato, capers, and olives. Prices are moderate and the setting with racks of wine bottles is cozy and romantic.
But the restaurant's two stories present another minor obstacle.
"One of the reasons I'm moving is because the new restaurant will be on one floor, which is easier to manage and seat," he says. "Many of my regular customers are over 70 so it'll be easier for them and easier for me."
Bijoux became known as one of the area's most romantic restaurants, which is perfectly in sync with Adelmo's reputation as an elegant place for romantic dinners and pre-theater nosh.
Banchetti says he'll make the move in January, but he will keep the restaurant open through the holidays and right up until he moves. "Four days a week, my business is downstairs only, and that's not enough for me," he says. "I probably should have done this 16 years ago."