History of Smoky Hollow

The Hollow is a special place to many families throughout Youngstown. It is hard to tell now, but the neighborhood was filled with families, businesses, and a melting pot of culture. People speak of the Hollow days as the golden era. Doors were left open, tables were shared, people enjoyed the simple things in life - with one another. The name Smoky Hollow comes from the fact that the area was saturated in smoke from the nearby steel mills. The Hollow was dominated by Italian-Americans. They brought their traditions, culture, and simple ways to the neighborhood leaving a lasting effect.

“The purpose in bringing YOSTERIA to Youngstown is all about community. It’s about ritual. When my ancestors came to Youngstown from Italy, they settled in the Hollow — to work and raise a family. Every day of the week was a ritual. Every meal was an event. YOSTERIA’S wine, regional Italian menu, and sense of community will be rooted in that tradition.”

Alex Zordich, co-owner, YOSTERIA

Alex Zordich

Alex's love for food and wine began at an early age. From spending Sundays at the dinner table to making homemade wine with his grandfather in Pittsburgh, he was quickly consumed by the Italian way of life. After graduating from college, he began chasing the grape harvest working for wineries in New Zealand, Italy, and Napa Valley. While in Italy he obtained a masters degree in wine-making and worked for various restaurants, farms, and bakeries around the country.

In all, Alex spent nearly eight years on the road, with the goal to bring all he learned to his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio — connecting all the dots with a true, Italian osteria. A place for the locals, for the people. Serving wine and a simple meal that brings people together and back to the old days — back to the simple ways of Italian life. No better place in Youngstown to bring this concept than Smoky Hollow. Where it all began.

With no plans to stop traveling and learning, he still maintains great relationships with the people he has worked for and learned from. He continutes to grow the YO VINO label as well as relationships with local wineries in the area, and regularly travels to Cali & Italy to visit friends and family and continue his education with various restaurants and wineries.

Frank Tuscano

Frank’s passion for cooking took hold early in life as well. Similarly, he was raised in Youngstown in families with strong ethnic ties. Cooking and food were a huge part of family life and his interest in Italian cooking methods took hold quickly.

His first trip to Italy was in 2005 and from his first moments on the peninsula it felt like home. He spent the next years visiting often and meeting local cooks in the various regions of Italy, soaking up much knowledge of the Italian kitchen and tasting what each region had to offer.

In 2014 he embarked on his restaurant career, founding Pressed Coffee Bar and Eatery , an American café and coffee bar with a menu full of Mediterranean inspired dishes with a traditional American twist. He led the company for 7 years opening an additional location until deciding to sell and move on to new ventures.

In 2021, he purchased his first Italian property in small town in southern Sicily. He has spent the last few years in exploration of this southern Italian region rich in cultural and food history. Having a home base, he has been able to immerse himself in the local food , wine and culture on his visits. He brings to the YOSTERIA brand years of industry experience, cooking and cultural knowledge, along with a passion for bringing the many wonders of Italian food and wine to all of us here!