A rendering of what the new restaurant Piripi could look like once done. (Rendering courtesy of Ben D. Ngo, ARC Renderings 3D)

Inspired by working internationally, and aiming to be able to provide to a variety of diets, an Erie couple looks to open a new restaurant this summer.

Hugo and Victoria Meyer moved to Erie in April 2019, and knew they wanted to also invest in the community by opening a restaurant on Briggs Street.

“We were looking for opportunities everywhere and we found downtown Erie,” Victoria Meyer said. “We decided it would be a really great opportunity to purchase and we knew we definitely wanted to stay in the restaurant business.”

Prior to moving to Erie, the couple had businesses in Spain and Hugo Meyer had worked in restaurants around the world.

Piripi, which will be located at 615 Briggs Street, will have something for everyone, the Meyers said.

“We’re trying to be inclusive,” Victoria Meyer said. “We’re going to include all types of diets. We will have steak, vegetarian and vegan options, there will be gluten-free menu items. There will be kid options and a room for kids to play. We’re in a place where there are a lot of families and we wanted families to have somewhere to go and enjoy their meal while the kids play.”

She added the staff will also be trained to ensure they know what the dietary restrictions are.

“Our focus is on our customers and the service we provide,” said Victoria Meyer.

Hugo Meyer said his experience working in the Caribbean, Europe and South American inspired him to add certain elements to the restaurant’s dishes.

“There will be tapas in the menu,” Hugo Meyer said. “We’re planning to have a big wine display. We want to bring something new to downtown Erie and this area.”

They also hope to be able to host cultural nights where they can have flamenco dancers while a featured dish can be piaya.

“You could probably find something like this in downtown Boulder or Denver, but not this area,” Hugo Meyer said. “The population here is very diverse and it’s growing a lot. People that live here have big families and when they go to dinner, they’re driving to Louisville, to Boulder, to Denver or Longmont. We want to keep them close and maybe draw in some people from those towns.”

Victoria Meyer said they want to have different options so people can always try a new dish when they come back.

The couple hopes to open the restaurant by mid-August, but with the coronavirus, they are keeping an eye on the cases.

“If things continue down a semi-normal path, we’re aiming for mid-August,” said Victoria Meyer. “If we get some kind of turnaround where we need to go lower in capacity, we’ll need to examine it.”

Hugo Meyer added originally, they hoped to open in the first quarter of the year, but the pandemic slowed construction down.

“We sit down everyday to see what’s happening,” said Hugo Meyer. “We’re asking around to see how people are complying. We’re just going to keep looking at what’s happening.”

He also said they will need to look at what dishes could convert to a takeout dish.

But, the couple is excited they moved to Erie.

“Downtown Erie is changing,” said Victoria Meyer. “We have new businesses coming in and I would encourage everyone, when they feel safe, to come out and visit. The products and services are really great and deserve the attention from Erie and surrounding areas.”

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