Pietro Gianni and Stephen Peterson, co-owners of Storico Fresco, Forza Storico, and Storico Vino, hope to convey their passion for life, food, and hospitality with their new bar-centric restaurant, Yeppa & Co. Concentrated on the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy—particularly Rimini—Yeppa & Co. is planned to open in the former Biltong Bar space in Buckhead Village this summer.
“Ferrari, Lamborghini, truffles—everything we love comes from there,” Gianni says.
Yeppa will be less focused on pasta than the other Storico restaurants—Storico Fresco founder Michael Patrick is not associated with the project—but will have some simple dishes like penne with tomato sauce and tagliatelle Bolognese. There will be Adriatic seafood, grilled skewers (representing items from the hills of Rimini) and focaccia pizza topped with regional and national ingredients. Expect cured meats, cheeses, vegetables, panini, and piadina, too. Designed for all-day dining, Yeppa may have small a coffee bar area as well.
Here’s what Gianni and Peterson have to say about the concept:
How did you come up with the name and concept for the restaurant?
A friend of Stephen’s family coined this concept of living life to the fullest. It stands for the principle of being hospitable, simple, and fun. It’s about building a special experience without complicating one’s life. He would say “yeppa” while sticking his tongue out (which is also our logo) at the everyday BS. He was always positive.
Originally [the] Yeppa [name] was on the lease at Forza. Forza already has a fun, bar-centric vibe. Every location, as we design it, we say this needs a little more “yeppa.” At some point, [the Storico name] has gotten confusing, and people around town need to know where they’re at.
We’re also buying an 11-bedroom, 5,000-square-foot villa on the property of Enio Ottaviani vineyard in Rimini. We’re calling it Yeppa. We are going to turn it into a space to host corporate events, culinary travel, and motor racing travel. The idea is to build a connection between here and there and help people explore that part of Italy.
What will the menu be like?
Stephen grew up in Rimini. The region contains a lot of our national treasure food—prosciutto de parma, bologna. It’s Italy’s kitchen. We are going to develop a menu in Italy with chefs there. We won’t have one chef—just collaborators. The menu is truly derived out of passion. Instead of having someone interpret their take on a, b, c, we are going to go to each specialist there.
What about the drinks?
Beverage director Jose Pereiro will make simple, accessible, high-quality, Emilia-Romagna–inspired cocktails using ingredients most common to that region. We’re also making some prebatched to-go cocktails because we hope the area will soon be open-container. We’ll have mostly Italian beers, and all Italian wines, including some imported from Rimini.
Rimini is a beach town. Their drinks, like mojitos and caipirinhas, are influenced by Latin America. We’ll have drinks influenced by how people live there but not limited to that one region.
What will the space be like?
A giant U-shaped bar is the focal point of the restaurant. Bar seating is the most fun seating. Indoor/outdoor situations are very fun, too. Fetch Dog Park is across the courtyard. We see an interrelationship between these two concepts to give life to this corner of Buckhead. The ultimate intent is to make the entrance of Buckhead Village here as opposed to on Peachtree.
We are going to make it look cozier, divide the dining room into the main dining room and a private dining/event room. Jamestown is going to build a near-2,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor patio seating 50. They’ll knock out all the windows. Like the other Storico restaurants, you enter via the patio.
What about the atmosphere?
The decor will be very interactive, so we are there [in Italy] but not there. Maybe you can point at QR codes to be driven to a website to see the webcams of the ocean, a vineyard, Ferrari, Lamborghini.
Vibe is everything to us. It must feel human. Semi-low ceilings, warm lighting—we try to keep it intimate and cozy with music and art. This is 7,000 square feet. We want people to mingle. We want it to be 100 percent sociable.
What about late night?
Nothing really good happens after 11. We prefer to have people enjoy the night on the early side. This potentially could be breakfast through early late-night drinks.
This is the first of our concepts to have TVs. We believe they can be done in a tasteful manner. [We might show] international venues or events—Formula One, America’s Cup, pro golf, World Cup, football in Europe, events like the Grammy [Awards] and the Oscars that people want to watch together.