Imagine being in New York, to eat delicious Italian dishes in an all-pink restaurant. Is it a dream? No, it’s Pietro Nolita! Opened in 2016 by Pietro Quaglia, it soon became one of the coolest places in the Big Apple, that every day attracts clients from all over the world with its pink attitude. The Blonde Salad as well couldn’t resist to its style. Pietro Quaglia, in this interview, unveils all the secrets of Pietro Nolita!
Why did you decide to open a restaurant like Pietro Nolita?
I wanted to create something different from the traditional Italian restaurants that are in New York, the ones with a Parmigiano wheel and salami hanging from the roof! My childhood, the places where I lived and that have a special place in my heart inspired me a lot. I was born in Milan in 1980 and I used to live in a very extravagant house. I always loved the Memphis Group and all their artworks where there’s so much pink. I also used to spend my holidays in Camogli, on the Italian Riviera, and I remembered the view from the promenade, with all those pink buildings. That’s why, when I decided to open Pietro Nolita, I chose pink as the main colour!
Is there anything else that inspired you?
I did a lot of researches. Fiorucci, as well, was on my mood board! We designed a very innovative concept because we wanted to create something that nobody has seen before. That’s why all the furniture, for example, is custom made.
How would you describe Pietro Nolita’s aesthetic in three words?
Chic, fun, kitsch!
Who are Pietro Nolita’s typical clients? Which experiences do they look for here?
Every day, we welcomed different kind of people: fashionistas, models, Upper East Side’s girls, tourists, grandparents with their families… I think that they’re attracted by our unique concept, that distinguishes us from all the other restaurants in New York. Come on: is there anything better to eat some delicious Italian dishes, drink fantastic cocktails in an all-pink restaurant, where you can find joy, happiness, and peacefulness?
When we talk about Pietro Nolita, pink is always around! You even chose the “Pink as fuck” claim. How did you create this motto and how does it describe the restaurant’s style?
I liked the idea of creating contrast, adding a masculine touch to pink.
Does the menu as a “pink as fuck” attitude, as well?
No, actually. Pink is the colour that makes our concept so unique, but there aren’t pink dishes on our menu. The design is very innovative, but we have a very traditional cuisine. You’ll always find, in the menu, genuine Italian dishes, the same ones my mum cooked! We also put in the menu, as well, some typical New York food like lamb burger and avocado toast.
You worked in the fashion industry before Pietro Nolita. Did this experience help you in designing the concept?
It helped me in creating a very precise aesthetic and pushing me to always find new ideas. For example, we created a merchandising collection and started a few collaborations dedicated to “Pink as fuck” motto, such as a clutch designed by Reine Bags and a shoe capsule collection with Brian Atwood. Barbie, as well, came to Pietro Nolita!
Your “Pink as fuck” T-shirts became a must-have among fashionistas, thanks to Giovanna Battaglia’s endorsement…
Giovanna and I are friends for a long time. She had the great idea to wear our T-shirt during New York Fashion Week. Every day, clients ask me for these T-shirts, that I sell in the restaurant, showing me Giovanna’s pics on their phones! She was an incredible supporter of Pietro Nolita since day one.
The Blonde Salad experienced the “Pink as fuck” attitude of Pietro Nolita, creating a capsule collection for our e-store. Did you know that it went sold out in a few days? It was one of our greatest success!
Great! At the end of the day, Pietro Nolita and The Blonde Salad have a lot in common, besides a passion for pink. We have similar imagery, and we speak to the same public.
If we would come to dinner at Pietro Nolita and we would ask you something in The Blonde Salad style, what would you prepare?
Carbonara: naughty but nice!