When the Storico team opened Italian focaccia bar concept Yeppa & Co. in February, they knew there was a good chance they’d cannibalize their own business from wine bar Storico Vino nearby (3065 Peachtree Road Northeast). So, they started planning a new restaurant—something vastly different from what they’ve done at Storico Fresco and Forza Storico. Enter Pachengo’s, an elevated Mexican restaurant that will replace Storico Vino in late July. (Vino held its final service this past weekend.)
“We wanted to do something that was missing in Buckhead, and that is traditional Mexican,” co-founder Pietro Gianni says. “Ninety-five percent of our cooks are from Mexico. Ninety percent of our bar staff is South American. Labor is one of the most difficult aspects of owning restaurants right now, and we have the staff.”
Plus, “There’s a lot of similarities between Latinos, Italians, and Mexicans in how we do hospitality,” notes co-founder Stephen Peterson. “At the base of it, it’s good, fun hospitality and good, simple food.”
Gianni envisions Pachengo’s to be more like a Mexico City taqueria than a Tex-Mex spot. Storico group culinary lead Omar Santamaria is designing a simple menu, featuring about 15 tacos, tostadas, salads, queso, and guacamole for lunch and dinner. Peterson is thinking about adding South American specials like Peruvian ceviche in the evening. Group beverage director Jose Pereiro is designing a high-end cocktail program focused on South American liquor. Expect mojitos and margaritas, as well as more unique craft creations. Beer offerings will be similar to those South American brews available at Yeppa. Wines will steer “easy and drinkable.”
The space is being renovated to be more casual and communal. The indoor and outdoor spaces will feel more connected. The bar is being completely rebuilt offsite and will include more seating. The ceiling will be repainted, and new tables and chairs brought in—think light-washed woods, white Mexican tile, and concrete. Music will be Spanish and European lounge-style. “You’ll feel that it’s still a Storico family restaurant,” Gianni says. “You’ll see the same faces.”
The hospitality group is already negotiating a lease for a second location—this one on the Westside. “If Pachengo’s does what it’s supposed to, Jamestown will find us a bigger, better location. Our lease only has two-and-a-half years left,” he says. “Our future will be [in that and] focaccia-based restaurants like Yeppa because it’s very profitable.” A second Yeppa location may be in the works on the BeltLine near Krog Street Market. Looking for something new sooner? Driver Bar is scheduled to open inside Yeppa & Co. mid June.