Lil Emil's Italy Officially Open For Business in the Meridian Mall

Lil Emil's Italy Officially Open For Business in the Meridian Mall

OKEMOS, MI - Lil Emil’s Italy held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate their grand opening in the food court in the Meridian Mall on Wednesday, July 7.

The event began at 12:00 pm and several Meridian Township officials were present, including Neighborhoods & Economic Development Director Amber Clark, Treasurer Phil Deschaine, Clerk Deborah Guthrie, and Township Manager Frank Walsh. The original date for the grand opening was in the month of March and was postponed due to delays with supply.

Lucy Shawano, the owner of Lil Emil’s Italy, considered different locations before the COVID-19 pandemic and found an opportunity with what used to be A & W All American Foods in the Food Court. Authentic Italian and American cuisine will be served at the restaurant and made from scratch.

HOMTV was able to speak with Shawano and says, “I worked hard for this and when you can’t see it’s a lot harder to work. I went to a lot of colleges. I never gave up and would pick myself back up and keep going, plus my little girl, she’s watching me. We’re hoping if this succeeds and go to a full blown restaurant and make a bigger one. It was a hard journey, we’re actually here, we did it and this is only the beginning.”

Shawano thanked everyone who has helped and supported her during her journey, and gave a special thank you to her late friend Julia, who encouraged her to open her business and added, "She was my inspiration all these years. She is the main reason why I’m here and where I’m at today.”

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