When Kevin Chambers was a boy, he never celebrated his birthday by blowing out the candles on a cake—rather, thanks to the influence of his Italian grandmother, he instead blew out candles spiked through birthday cannoli.
That dessert, naturally, carries with it some significant nostalgia, which is why it's going to feature prominently on the menu at Marmo Deli and Bar, Chambers' first solo venture in the restaurant industry.
However, his upcoming downtown deli doesn't mark the beginning of his restaurant career. After graduating with a business degree from the University of Souther California, he's worked primarily in restaurants, as a cook, as a bartender and, until he took a job with ChefStable about three years ago, as the general manager of Cafe Nell.
Still, even with that experience, he wasn't above looking for help, which is why he contacted his "good pal" and former Bluehour chef, Thomas Boyce.
Boyce, Chambers says, will stay on to oversee the opening menu, and will take leave once a kitchen manager has been hired on to oversee its permanent execution.
The concept, he adds, will call for a menu of simple, but well-executed deli soups, salads and sandwiches, snacks like deviled eggs, a fun cold pasta salad selection and, at night, a few hot baked pasta dishes. A small beer, wine and cocktail list will round out the menu once Marmo opens its doors.
At first, the deli will be a lunch and dinner space, but Chambers says that breakfast will soon follow once he and his team gather their sea legs. Expect morning espresso drinks and pastries, at the very least.
If all goes according to plan—and Chambers seems to think it is—Marmo could be open by early-May.
Marmo Deli and Bar, 1037 SW Morrison St.