Little Italy has a new wine bar at Exeter and Fawn Streets called Amedeo's.
The bar has been open for four months, but it's so under the radar it doesn't even come up on Google yet. Yelp hasn't even had a chance to review it.
Amedeo's replaces Pepino's Tavern, which new owner Ahmad Ebrahimpour bought in March. Property records show he paid $200,000 for the place. When Pepino's bought it in 2003, then owners paid $55,000.
Ebrahimpour's invested an additional $175,000 in renovations, he said.
If the owner's name doesn't sound Italian, it's because it isn't. Ebrahimpour is Iranian-born, but he spent five years in Italy as a college student and has lived in the neighborhood for the last 30. He's fluent in Italian.
Amedeo is a play on his first name.
Even if not born to the region, he's turned around the place from what used to be a real dive. The new wine bar carries some 40 wines by the bottles, and a traditional Italian cold cuts menu.
Amedeo's building - three stories, and 2,000 square feet in all - was originally built in 1900, according to property records. Ebrahimpour is using only the first floor as a bar that seats around 30 people.
There's a smaller quiet room that sits an additional 20. Prices for Amedeo's are comparable for the area. The cheapest glass of wine starts at $5, and the cheapest domestic is $3.The bar has 8-10 wines by the glass, several domestics, as well as Italian beers like Birra Moretti. Food consists of paninis and cold cuts, like prosciutto and mozzarella.
Ebrahimpour is a former real estate agent who's dabbled in restaurants before. He said he owned some food markets in the 90s and was part owner in another neighborhood restaurant, but declined to say which one. When he was younger he studied in Emilia-Romagna in Northern Italy, where his sister still lives, he said.
He found out the former owners were selling the space on Exeter because he lives a block away.
Amedeo's attracts a crowd in its 30s, and upwards. They're usually on dates, grabbing a drink before heading to the restaurants in the area, or just getting out of work.
"It's an easy atmosphere," Ebrahimpour said. "The attitude here is: have a glass of wine, relax, and go home."