Pietro Gianni and Stephen Peterson, who also own Storico Fresco Alimentari e Ristorante and Forza Storico, posted the closure announcement to Instagram Friday, June 2, stating that Saturday, June 3, was the last day of service for the wine bar. The restaurant space is set to undergo a quick renovation and complete menu change and reopen as “a Mexican taqueria that we feel will be a fun and exciting addition” to Buckhead Village, according to the Instagram post.
Storico Vino employees are temporarily working at the group’s other restaurants, which includes recently opened Yeppa and Co. at Buckhead Village, and will return to staff Pachengo’s when it opens later this summer. A few popular dishes from Storico Vino, like the penne alla vodka, beef and tuna carpaccios, and Tajarin pasta, are now on the menu at Storico Fresco.
“The main reason for the rebranding is that Yeppa and Co. is extremely successful and we knew it would likely hurt [Storico] Vino,” Gianni says of the decision to transform Storico Vino to Pachengo’s. “Many of our staff members at our restaurants are from Mexico and other countries around South America, and we sat with them one day to discuss the idea [of Pachengo’s] and see what they thought.”
With three years left on the lease for Storico Vino, the decision came down to either closing the wine bar or rebranding it to something else.
The feedback they received from employees who took part in the discussion was very positive, Gianni says. But the deal was sealed following a test kitchen tasting for Pachengo’s presented by several kitchen staff members. Gianni and Peterson then brought the rebranded restaurant idea to Jamestown Properties, the owners of Buckhead Village and Westside Provisions District.
Pachengo’s will offer both lunch and dinner seven days a week and feature tacos and breakfast tacos, burritos, and tostadas, along with tequila cocktails and a tight selection of wines from countries around South America. Gianni calls the menu and the vibe at Pachengo’s “easygoing” and a chance for many of the restaurant group’s longtime employees to tap into their roots and serve food they love cooking and eating.
“There are so many Italian restaurants now in Buckhead, including ours, and [Pachengo’s] gives our employees, some who’ve been with us since the beginning at Storico Fresco, a chance to present their food and culture to our guests. This is their restaurant,” says Gianni.
And the partners aren’t done expanding their growing restaurant group in Atlanta. Currently, Gianni and Peterson are in lease negotiations for a second Pachengo’s to open on the westside near Forza Storico. They’re also in lease negotiations to open a second Yeppa and Co. near Krog Street Market along the Eastside Beltline. Gianni declined to provide specific locations for the new restaurants, citing ongoing lease negotiations with landlords, which they hope to wrap up soon.
Gianni and Peterson first announced their intention to open Storico Vino at Buckhead Village in 2019. Slated to debut in mid-2020, the start of the pandemic halted those plans, delaying the opening of the wine bar by another year, while they worked to stabilize Storico Fresco along Grandview Avenue in Buckhead and Forza Storico at Westside Provisions District during the first few weeks of the health crisis.
Updated, June 5, 11 a.m.: This story was updated with comments and details from Pachengo’s co-owner Pietro Gianni.