A local restaurateur who already owns two slices of downtown Howell’s restaurant pie will add a third helping to his plate this week.
Adam Merkel, owner of Diamonds Steak and Seafood and Mr. B’s Rustic Tavern, will open The Silver Pig, 102 S. Michigan Ave., just behind Mr. B’s Rustic Tavern, more than likely by Friday or even earlier this week.
“I’m just really proud of everyone who’s helped make this project happen,” Merkel said Friday. “This is my first restaurant that I’ve built from start to finish, from the ground up, so it means a lot.
“The others we have were existing, but it’s amazing to see an idea in your head actually come to life,” he added. “This restaurant really was built by the community that surrounds it, and we hope they love it.”
Merkel also plans to begin transforming Mr. B’s into a bigger and better Diamonds in November and open the new Diamonds by the end of the year. He’ll then transform the current Diamonds building on East Grand River Avenue into Cello, a modern Italian restaurant.
The Silver Pig, a speakeasy bar with seating for 44 patrons, will offer 13 brick-oven pizzas, a selection of craft cocktails and a variety of shared plates, including sweet-and-sour roasted cauliflower, crispy pork belly and Burrata cheese with Hungarian peppers. It also will have an oyster and seafood room to showcase its fresh oysters and peel-and-eat shrimp and crab.
“That’s great news to hear that they’ll be opening next week,” Pat Convery, president of the Howell Area Chamber of Commerce, said Friday. “Adam has generated a lot of excitement about his new venture and it’s going to be fun to be among the first to check it out.”
The Silver Pig’s 20-seat craft cocktail bar will feature several signature cocktails, such as blood-orange martinis, wine over whiskey and burnt-Rosemary sidecar, just to name a few. Merkel paid particular attention to making sure that each cocktail is served up in its own unique glassware.
“We put the same attention to the ingredients and technique of our beverage program as our chefs do with our food,” Merkel said.
Merkel used local artisans and contractors to build The Silver Pig.
ames Roth, of Hell Creek Forge, built the hanging iron rack that will hold the actual silver pig, a childhood piggy bank that Merkel cashed in six years ago to buy groceries for his family when times were tough.
“For me, it’s a humble reminder of where I came from and how fortunate we are to be able to do this,” Merkel said.
Merkel hired Ron & Roman LLC, an architecture firm known for designing some of the country’s best restaurants, to design The Silver Pig. Ron & Roman also are designing the new Diamonds and Cello.
The Silver Pig’s exterior features two 4-foot-high copper gas lanterns that will stay lit 24 hours a day and a painting by a local artist of a little white pig looking up at a sophisticated woman.
Merkel will close Diamonds for a week or two later this year to prep it for its grand opening.
“Ultimately, our goal is to build a great collection of neighborhood restaurants where our regulars will be treated like celebrities and celebrities will be treated like regulars,” he said.
By Noe Hernandez, Livingston Daily, September 16, 2016