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In what he calls his “past life,” Nick Yebba built a car rental empire, starting with 54 vehicles and expanding to more than 600,000 over 25 years. Seven years ago, the East Boston native teamed up with his son Nick Jr. to open Teresa’s Italian Eatery in Middleton. In October, they started building Teresa’s Grille 19 in North Reading, followed a month later by its upstairs neighbor, the upscale steakhouse Teresa’s Prime.
Each Teresa’s serves a different audience, but Grille 19 has the broadest appeal. It’s a dim cavern with a massive, uber-hip bar that seats 42 and comfortable, family-friendly booths and tables that fit about another 100. The senior Yebba is a nightly presence at the restaurant, shaking hands and checking on customers.