People are always asking where I am from and I love to joke that I am from the deep South. In Brazil my father headed a very successful truck repair shop while my mother ran a clothing factory and together, they made some killer real estate deals. Unfortunately, or fortunately, things went “North” and that was when my brother and I decided to move to the States.
Like most immigrants we started from the bottom, and not speaking any English made moving here even more interesting. I would love to bore you with all the details of our beginnings, but I am going to fast forward to my restaurant experience.
I worked for several pizza chains in my early days, Pizza Hut, Papa Johns and Donato’s Pizza and later I became a busser and server at Violette Restaurant under Chef Guy Luck. My love for the restaurant business flourished when an opportunity to work for Buckhead Life Restaurant Group came through a friend at Violette, and that’s when my career took off. I worked for BLRG as a server, assistant manager, beverage manager, AGM and eventually General Manager, all within a very short period of time. At BLRG I met my greatest mentor Mimi Cogan, my restaurant inspiration Pano Karatassos, my business partner and best friend Chef Jamie Adams and the rarest and most precious jewel of all, Antoinette Moura, my wife.
I left BLRG for a year, to get my Master’s Degree in Restaurant Business, in pursuit of acquiring a franchise with IHOP. Please read that phrase again with a little sarcasm. While at IHOP-U I learned a ton- from properly cutting a tomato, to saving pennies on the dollar, to how to responsibly and financially run a restaurant business. 20k later (and I am not still NOT bitter)… scrambled eggs anyone?
The il Giallo “il Jah-lo” project started by Pano offering Chef Jamie and I an opportunity to buy Veni Vidi Vici, to which I had returned after finishing my “IHOP degree.” Chef Jamie and I pressed really hard to make the deal work but, I guess, fortunately we could not make it work. We signed the lease for il Giallo late 2014 and had that pup going by
October 31 st , 2015, now known of course as Gialloween. il Giallo has taught us tremendously and we are extremely grateful to the City of Sandy Springs and all the cities around it for the wonderful support over the last four years.
Lagarde, our latest, is a fun concept to describe; come as you are, neighborhood driven, affordable, irreverent, edgy, family friendly, fun (have I mentioned fun yet?), screams sharing and above all, beautiful. All of the senses are touched, even the sixth one. Lagarde is also a very personal concept for me- the merging of two friends’ dreams. I have always dreamed of owning an American Restaurant that honors hard work, diversity and the land that adopted me as a son. To me, Lagarde is the equivalent of someone crossing the finish line in first place, it goes beyond just a dream, it also represents my love for the country that provided me great opportunity. The eagle in our logo represents the free spirited and the bold. The eagle rests on the A for America, which is surrounded by the fifty stars and lastly, GA in red, is for where we are in this vast land. “Bon Temps” describes the good times to come, Jamie’s family is from New Orleans, a city that was love at first sight for me. N.O., I am not biased, I just don’t believe in coincidence - Chef Jamie’s middle name is Lagarde from his grandmother-so we have LA and GA all in one word! I can’t wait to see the restaurant packed with a great “everything goes” mentality and vibe!
“Let the Good Times Roll” and I mean it!
We are all about community and friends and family gathering to experience good times and great food. We are excited for you to enjoy our casual yet elevated atmosphere. Opening soon in Fall 2019!Contact Lagarde