Riccardo Ullio gives another stab at Midtown with new restaurant concept

By on February 20, 2011

riccardo ullio to open el scorpion in former eno by zaza space ~ what now, atlanta?

Escorpión to take failed Eno by Zaza (most recently 5th Street Cafe) space

Update (May 12): Riccardo Ullio’s Fourth Try for a Latino Restaurant in Midtown Set to Open Thursday

Riccardo Ullio, owner of Atlanta favorites Sotto Sotto and Fritti of U Restaurants, will open a new Midtown restaurant.

Escorpión, the name of Ullio’s newest venture, will open in the former Eno by Zaza space (most recently 5th Street Cafe), according to management at both Sotto Sotto and Fritti.

Located at 800 Peachtree street, Escorpión will be the third concept the space has seen in less than two years.

5th Street Cafe closed after a mere 78 days in business, owned by Atlanta Hawks’ Zaza Pachulia (story here).

Escorpión will also be Ullio’s fourth attempt at a successful Midtown restaurant. Ullio opened three concepts at 905 Juniper in Midtown (Cuerno, Lupe and Beleza) all which are now closed (story here).

Still under development, U Restaurants has not released any specifics on the concept and have no comment at this time.

Here’s to hoping Ullio doesn’t get stung a fourth time in Midtown.

Developing…

El Escorpión
800 Peachtree St NE
Atlanta, GA 30308

About Caleb J. Spivak

CJS is the Founder of What Now Atlanta. He was recently featured in The New York Times, Creative Loafing's "20 People to Watch in 2012," named "Lifestyle Blogger You Need To Know" by Rolling Out Magazine and highlighted as Atlanta's Metropolitan Male in fashion magazine, 944. WNA was named "Best of Atlanta" by Creative Loafing and Atlanta Magazine.

18 Comments

  1. Mike

    February 20, 2011 at 9:06 am

    This is great news! His concepts at 905 Juniper were pretty good, but unfortunately that building/location is cursed for some reason. This will have more visibility on Peachtree so let’s hope this one will stick around!

  2. Midtown Alexander

    February 20, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    I guess that means the little known Abrigo where Mitra once was will not make it. It is already struggling without a similar concept across the street. Too bad, it great food.

  3. Laura

    February 20, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Hope this lasts – that Juniper location is tough without much drive-by traffic. If he can keep quality up, I bet it will be a hit.

  4. Kwilah

    February 20, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    Fantastic! I love Fritti. This will be terrific!

  5. Jonathan

    February 21, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Converting Juniper to a 2-way street would help with the “drive-by traffic” curse – however, it’d be nice if restaurants in the most walkable, urbanized area of town wouldn’t have to rely on drive-by traffic to survive.

  6. Darin

    February 21, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Very cool news. I’m a big Fritti fan. If this place is the same quality as Fritti and Sotto Sotto it’s sure to be great. And I think this location will be much higher profile than the two he had on Juniper.

  7. Stefan

    February 21, 2011 at 11:59 am

    @Jonathan: Agreed, making all of the grid streets that were converted to one way in the 60′s back into two way would help a lot of those businesses. There should probably be an overall movement to convert all of the streets rather than piecemeal attempts.

  8. Darin

    February 21, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    +1 on the two-way streets thing. The wide, one-way streets running through Midtown get used like highways too much — ways to get from one place to another in a car without really seeing the retail in between. Plus, with cars zooming through roads like Juniper & West Peachtree like they’re on the interstate, the pedestrian atmosphere is less pleasant than it should be. Discourage pedestrians and you’ll discourage the foot traffic these businesses need.

  9. jurban8

    February 21, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    There has been talk of converting Midtown’s one-ways back into two-ways. It was mentioned in the Connect Atlanta plan. Let’s hope it’s done sooner than later; the effect would be phenomenal.

  10. Jon

    February 21, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    West Peachtree and Juniper should be converted to 2 way streets. Leave Spring and the one way portion of Piedmont as options to quickly get into Downtown. They sit on the edges of Midtown’s core so it makes sense.

  11. Jason

    February 22, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Look, no offense to Zaza, but clearly he should stay out of the restaurant business. Eno at its end was the best it had been in years, largely thanks to Eli. 5th Street was so clearly a failed concept from the start, but a restaurant open only 78 days is indicative of a far bigger management/ownership issue. This is GREAT for my block and I promise this Midtown resident (and his better half) will be early supporters!!!

  12. TJ

    February 23, 2011 at 6:02 am

    We are ecstatic!!! We really miss Lupe. They had the best Margaritas on the rocks and chile rellenos we have ever had. We welcome Ricrdo back to the “hood”. !!!!!!!

  13. Volkan

    February 23, 2011 at 10:21 am

    This restaurant will be a huge hit. The owners and operators of Fritti are shrewd and creative folks. They will do a terrific job and this place is sure to be a gem on Peachtree.

  14. Stan

    February 23, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Three times the charm – finially a concept that matches the location

  15. Randy A. Simes

    April 24, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    I really enjoyed Lupe while it was open. Hopefully he can bring that same quality to this new venture. This location is certainly better than the Juniper one, but both have struggled.

    I had no idea Zaza was the one behind 5th Street Cafe. I love Zaza as a basketball player, but clearly he doesn’t have much business sense if he didn’t even have a 90-day business plan.

  16. Susan

    June 29, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    WOW>>>>I loved the food and drink menu! Heading back soon to share with some friends!

  17. Duane

    August 17, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Great food. AMAZING Tequila margaritas(Daisys..lol) and the art work was phenomenal. BTW, the artist, “Travis” I’m attempting to find him/her online to no avail. Please advise. I’d love to purchase a piece or two.

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