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Unconventional Seattle Chef Eric Rivera Plans a Puerto Rican Izakaya in Raleigh

Two restaurants, Sapo and Coqui, to open in 2023

Eric Rivera (in a red shirt and tan apron) leans on a counter in his Addo kitchen.
Eric Rivera in his Addo kitchen.
Suzi Pratt for Eater
Erin Perkins is the editor of Eater Carolinas.

Seattle chef Eric Rivera announced on Instagram that he’s bringing two new restaurants to Raleigh, North Carolina, in 2023. According to a post on Rivera’s website, Sapo will be “a private dining room that features tasting menus. fancy, fun, and lots of flavor.” Coqui will be a Puerto Rican izakaya, blending Puerto Rican with Japanese “flavors, techniques, presentations, and a loud fun dining room.”

Rivera gained acclaim for his Seattle restaurant Addo, including the title of Eater Seattle’s 2018 Chef of the Year. According to Eater Seattle, “Addo is the kind of restaurant that has ‘experiences that nobody is even thinking about.’ This translates to extensive tasting menus, theme dinners, chef incubators, classes, and of course [Rivera’s] Puerto Rican pop-up, Lechoncito. There are all different price points represented, but the common thread is a focus on the diner experience.”

Riveria attended culinary school at the Art Institute in Seattle and landed at Chicago’s famed Alinea for three and a half years. He returned to Seattle and worked with the Huxley Wallace Restaurant Group, the Derschang Group, and as head chef at Bookstore Bar before running two-seat pop-up dinners inside his apartment, which grew into Addo.

Addo is currently closed in Seattle, but Rivera is calling his upcoming pop-up series the “Addo tour,” with dates in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Raleigh. The Raleigh events start on March 1, 2023, and will be intimate dinners for two to four people, starting at $750 for the multi-course experience.