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Our History  

Marcello’s Restaurant was founded in the 1980s as an Italian Restaurant and Bar along the Gulf Coast in Port Isabel, Texas.

Prior to becoming a restaurant in 1984, our building was home to the old Lighthouse Grocery store and meat market. Since the early 1950’s this space has been celebrated as a historic and important landmark in downtown Port Isabel.

In 1984, Vicente “Chente” Gonzales sold the Lighthouse Grocery to Manuela Stevenson who transformed the market to Marcello’s Italian Restaurant and a bar, a family owned and operated restaurant on the historic Lighthouse Square of Port Isabel, Texas.

Retaining the original sound construction, she enhanced the outside with the decorative awnings and landscaped the small plot between the building and Queen Isabella Boulevard. In the early 1990s, Manuela sold the restaurant to the Ahadi and Friedman families, who collectively managed the restaurant for the next 20+ years.

Today, Chef Bettina Tolin owns and operates Marcello’s restaurant as the Executive Chef. In early 2019, she renovated and rebranded the restaurant to offer a broader variety of fresh coastal cuisine, prime steaks, and chops, locally sourced produce and made from scratch pasta.

Marcello’s Ocean Grille and Spirits’ casual yet elegant ambiance welcomes our guests from all over the world with attentive service, delectable cuisine, and memorable dining.

Our new patio is open overlooking the stunning Port Isabel lighthouse and is the perfect spot for Sunday brunch, cocktails, lunch or dinner.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

                                                                                    - Chef Bettina

Lighthouse