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Peek Behind the Hedge:  Emanuela Marcello

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Owner/Partner, Cafe L'Europe
Emanuela Marcello, and her husband, Mark, have operated Cafe L'Europe since 2020, though they are no strangers to Palm Beach. Originally from Canada, both grew up spending their holidays on the island; better yet, Emanuela hails from a restaurant family. Get to know one half of the dynamic duo behind one of Palm Beach's most coveted (and delicious) dining experiences!
Get to know Emanuela Marcello!
  • Emanuela, you and your husband, Mark, are Canadian. Was Palm Beach a family destination for both of you growing up?

    • Yes, It was. Growing up in Toronto, Florida was always a popular winter destination. We vacationed here during Christmas and Spring Breaks in the 80’s & 90’s. Palm Beach has always felt like a second home to us.

  • You also come from a restaurant family. Did you always hope to remain in the “family business?” 

    • No, I never expected to work in the restaurant business again. I really enjoyed working in it back in Toronto with my brother and father at our family owned restaurant.  

  • What part of the industry, specifically fine dining, is the most rewarding? Alternatively, the most difficult and at times, frustrating?

    • Most rewarding: providing guests an enjoyable dining & social experience. Creating special events like our Wine & Trivia Dinners for example. 

    • Most difficult or frustrating: the off-season is more challenging since many of our customers leave for the summer months and don’t return till the fall.

  • Are there other local partners and/or community leaders that have been cheerleaders of the Marcello family from the beginning and as owners, you still go to for advice?

    • The community as a whole has been very supportive of the new Café.

  •  Your family led a revamp of Cafe L'Europe back in 2020. From a design standpoint, what elements of the space do you love the most?
    • When we took over the Café in Spring of 2020, Mark & I walked through the Café and knew right away what we were going to do to revamp the space. We both have a lot of building and design experience so it was an easy project to envision. It was in desperate need of a Palm Beach face-lift so we made lots of changes while still keeping many of the architectural features to maintain its old-world charm. As the new owners, the new café needed to be a reflection of the Marcellos and together with my in-laws, who are our partners in the Café, we developed the new design. 

      • Some of the new features we like include: knocking down the dividing wall to create one open concept dining room, create a large centralized u-shape 26 seat bar to be the heart of the Cafe, brighten up the space by painting the walls white and add a splash of blue upholstery to reflect the Palm Beach coastal island vibe. I especially adore our Private Dining Room which is all blue from floor to ceiling. We restored the existing wall paneling in a high gloss dark blue and kept the brick walls and glass sliding doors. It’s a cozy, moody and elegant room adorned with impressive brass chandeliers and sconces.

      •  We hired Sara McCann to help us source material and furniture and of course she is a wealth of design information and inspiration. We hired Kieth Spina who specializes in restaurant & commercial design as the architect.

  • As a Palm Beach resident and business owner, what do you love the most about the island? 

    • We’ve been coming to Palm Beach since the 80’s and have always loved it for its small town yet sophisticated beachy vibe . I am still in awe of the beautiful architecture, manicured lawns and larger than life palm tree lined streets. It’s all so dreamy. Palm Beach’s look is the perfect combination of casual coastal and chic elegance. I am also very much in favor of its preservation. As much as I accept the new, I also want to maintain the look and charm of the past since I do associate it with my youth. I love holding onto my childhood memories.

  • What’s coming down the pipeline for the restaurant? New menu items? Events?

    • Summer: Summer Prix-fixe menu for $65/pp Sunday – Thursday and our Happy Hour with $12 martinis, $10 cocktails, $9 wine from 4:30-6pm Sunday – Thursday.

    •  Upcoming Events: We love a fun party! October 23: Rome/Paris Wine Dinner with fashion show. October 31: Annual Halloween Costume Party

    • *More wine & trivia dinners and more fashion shows with local retailers. We love to support

              our friends in the community!*​

  • Besides Cafe L’Europe, of course, where else do you enjoy dining in the area? 

    • We love dining everywhere on the island and in West Palm.

  • What featured Privet event are you most excited about this summer? 

    • Golf Clinics at the Par 3. I took up golf this year and am taking lessons so these clinics will come in handy! And the Wine events at Virginia Phillips.

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