Power couple Aaron Thompson and Jessica “Rabbit” King have broken new ground in the industry by introducing Italian aperitivi and Northern Italian cuisine by a Milanese chef to the heart of Knoxville, Tennessee for the first time.

Inspired by their travels throughout Italy and beyond, Brother Wolf’s program focuses on aperitivi, Italy’s lower ABV cocktails that are often enjoyed after work with friends and co-workers prior to dinner with small snacks included. Thompson has additionally curated its definitive selection of Italian wines with a focus on family-owned, sustainable wineries spanning all 20 regions.

Upon entering, its lively atmosphere is apparent, with splashes of oranges and yellows; a citrusy environment, if you will. A perfect match for the bright and bitter cocktails you’ll find on the menu. Your ears will then become attune to lively, upbeat world music and simultaneously, the sound of the espresso machine going.

True to concept, Brother Wolf’s drink program, created by King, would be considered unremarkable in Italy, but remarkable in Knoxville. It focuses on the Negroni and its precursors and sticks to traditional aperitivo, with some spritz-focused offerings, such as the Aperol and the Bicicletta. The menu is bold with sections marked by cocktail style–Americano, Negroni, Spritz, Apertivo & Digestive, and Caffé each have their own designated sections. The cocktails are the perfect match to all of the food–which focuses on antipasti and charcuterie rather than full meals. The result is a stunning environment for a great cocktail and a light bite to enjoy with friends and conversation.

Overall, Thompson and King have a specific vision for the space: “Brother Wolf is a space meant to facilitate conversation and serve as an atmosphere for people to get together and experience each other again. What we are all hopefully experiencing is a social renaissance; we have been apart for so long and getting back together feels so sweet. We hope Brother Wolf is used as an avenue to experience each other and communicate face-to-face again.”