Yvette Leeper-Bueno

Harlem EatUp! : Yvette Leeper-Bueno


Yvette Leeper-Bueno owns Vinatería, the charming and beloved Harlem neighborhood restaurant and wine bar at 2211 Frederick Douglass Blvd. A lifelong New Yorker, Yvette maintains longstanding roots in Harlem- from her parents first meeting on 122nd Street in the fifties, to the renovated townhouse on 112th St. she has shared with her husband and sons for 12 years. 

Before opening Vinatería in early 2013, Yvette was already an entrepreneur, opening her own clothing design/manufacturing business and children’s clothing boutique, Leeper Kids. Eventually her entrepreneurial spirit, love for good food and fashion, and devotion to the Harlem community led her to open Vinatería on its up-and-coming strip of Frederick Douglass Blvd. Vinatería was the first restaurant of its kind in this neighborhood, fostering a spirit of inclusivity and offering an accessible but extensive wine program with rare finds, a thoughtful menu of Spanish and Italian-influenced seasonal dishes, a convivial atmosphere and fresh, contemporary design.

Almost three years later, the neighborhood has seen a resurgence that some have compared to a second Harlem Renaissance, and Vinatería remains a pioneer in this transformation. From subtle details like the herbs lining the windowsills, to the art selected for the walls, Yvette’s gift for all things aesthetic and her attention to detail is clearly manifested throughout the space. 

Last year, Vinatería was named by the Financial Times as one of the five best Italian restaurants in New York City. Vinatería has also been featured in the New York Times for its unique design and décor.