Chef Mimmo Alboumeh, the former owner of Red Pepper Taqueria, opens a new restaurant in the Watershed space on Peachtree Road in Brookwood Hills later this fall. Southern restaurant institution Watershed, which relocated to Brookwood Hills from Decatur in 2011, closed after a 21-year run on the Atlanta dining scene last December.
Alboumeh, who left Red Pepper Taqueria in May and is no longer associated with the restaurant, expects to open Botica in November and serve a menu centering around street-style tacos and the flavors of Mexico and Spain.
The chef plans to meld some of the more savory dishes he created for the menu at Red Pepper Taqueria with flavors and ingredients in dishes reminiscent of those he grew up eating while living in Lebanon, Italy, and Spain. A representative tells Eater the menu, which is still in the works, should feature house-smoked meats, from-scratch dressings, salsas, and sauces, and a “next-level brunch” on the weekends with bottomless mimosas.
The pandemic caused Alboumeh to rethink seating arrangements in the restaurant’s 180-seat dining room and on its street-side patio. A greater emphasis is being placed on outdoor dining and allowing fresh air to continually circulate throughout the restaurant. Nano doors are being installed and will open to the outside from the dining room and bar, and a canopy will eventually cover the 100-seat patio along Peachtree.
Alboumeh began his career in Mexican restaurants over 20 years ago, opening Red Pepper Taqueria in Buckhead in 2011, followed by a Decatur location a year later. A third Red Pepper Taqueria opened in Brookhaven two years ago, taking over Jefe’s Tacos & Taqueria in Town Brookhaven.
In the early days of the pandemic, Alboumeh shut down the restaurants and delivered meals to Lost-N-Found Youth, an Atlanta shelter for young people in the LGBTQ community. All three restaurants have since reopened under new management for dine-in service and offer takeout and delivery via UberEats.
Update, September 23, 5:10 p.m.: This story has been updated to reflect that Mimmo Alboumeh is no longer a part of Red Pepper Taqueria.