A restaurant and cocktail bar with walls covered in vinyls inspired by Japanese listening bars. Benassi & Co sought to shirk the traditions and stiff codes of classic restaurants by approaching a musically inspired new dining concept with high-end, precision-made sound systems, turntables and mixers endlessly fine-tuned creating a comforting laid back atmosphere.

Common passions

“The idea was born quickly and is the result of a series of coincidences. We were in Miami together with my friend Ezio Burani, we spent a wonderful evening in a club, Dante’s HiFi, where we felt in heaven. All our passions were there: vintage vinyls were mixed with excellent cocktails and good food.” As we left we said to ourselves: ‘Maybe one day we are gonna open a place like this”.

“After returning to Italy, Franco Montanari, a restaurateur  I’ve known for years, called me to take over the old Prospero (The Lions). He said, let’s do it together, come on!
‘I’m in with one condition, I have an idea with an American partner and friend of mine’. I accepted the challenge and so did he. With Fabio Volo we had been talking about doing something together for years maybe a restaurant, something to have fun in.”

This is how Benny Benassi explained how the first idea for The Riff was born. The project immediately involved other important members of the group coming both from the restaurant industry but also with others expertises. The Riff project is led by a large and varied group, which makes the diversity of its elements a unique richness to bring a concept where music, food & drinks are blending perfectly together, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Where is The Riff?

The Riff is nestled in the heart of Reggio Emilia, Emilia Romagna, in the newly renovated Piazza San Prospero at the number 4. This historic and picturesque square is known for its elegant architecture, including the beautiful San Prospero Basilica, which dates back to the 10th century and stands as a symbol of the city’s rich history.

The square is often bustling with locals and visitors, offering a delightful atmosphere for leisurely strolls, people-watching, and enjoying the vibrant street cafes and shops that surround it. A must-visit destination for anyone exploring Reggio Emilia.

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The Riff’s soundtrack

International DJ Benny Benassi found his sanctuary. Not in the vast sea of digital soundscapes or the latest music streaming platforms; it is within the timeless allure of vinyl records. Benny’s passion for vinyl had found a home at the Riff. 

As the Music Director of the Riff, Benny Benassi’s journey with vinyl was a love affair that had begun long before he ever stepped into the world-renowned career. His earliest memories of music were intrinsically linked with the crackle and warmth of vinyl records. 

Benny is the Music Director of the Riff, where vinyl records would take center stage. The Selector’s Stand is surrounded by walls adorned with original album covers. The Riff has a stylish cocktail bar, where the DJ booth, is at the center of The Riff world. Benny’s role is to curate the soundtrack of the Riff, together with Euro Nettuno.

Fabio second passion

You knew already that Fabio Volo was a multi-talented force to be reckoned with. Renowned as a writer, actor, and radio celebrity, he had captivated audiences with his diverse talents. Yet, beneath the spotlight and the bustling career, there was a quieter passion that fueled his soul – his love for music, especially the allure of vinyl records.

As a writer, Fabio Volo often found inspiration in the notes and lyrics of his favorite songs. He would immerse himself in the vinyl world, selecting records from his cherished collection to serve as the soundtrack to his writing process. The tactile sensation of handling a vinyl record and the deep, analog sound it produced were a source of comfort and inspiration for him.

Fabio received a call from an old friend, Benny Benassi. The renowned DJ invited Fabio to join him together with a group of friends for an unforgettable project centered around their shared love for music. It was an opportunity Fabio couldn’t resist.

The ambiance convinced Fabio. Every night at the Riff is a celebration of music, friendship, good food and drink and the enduring allure of vinyl. Conversations flowed as freely as the music, and the vinyl records became conduits for stories, memories, and emotions.

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