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Dec 22, 2007 06:42 PM

Luna in Little Italy Gone?

My husband (born and bred NY-er) practically grew up at Luna, but when we visited the city in September, we couldn't find it. Mulberry was setting up for Sen Gennaro, so it was madness down there...but has it disappeared? He was crushed.

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  1. Tell him not to be! I dined there about 13 years ago and it was terrible then.

    1. It is long gone, for a couple of years now it has been an empty storefront. I agree with cornflake girl, it was never particularly good and sadly not much better then most of the Little Italy joints. It did have some some old time character and characters, but not much else.

      1. I had forgotten about that place, it was like a cafeteria food! i guess par for the course on mulberry st.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Renguin

          Passed by yesterday and it is now a souviner shop, with no trace of its previous life as a restaurant.

        2. I just called them now (April 28,2012) and they said that while they HAD closed for about two years, they are now re-opened and they are across the street from their original location. Ciao, Bella!

          9 Replies
          1. re: DaSarge

            Have to disagree with those expressing negativity towards Luna's. I used to love it, and it was my go-to place for NY Italian; I had stopped eating veal parmigiana on principle, but would make an exception at Luna's because I thought they had the best veal parmigiana I had ever eaten. I haven't been in the area in years, and had heard rumors that it no longer existed, but I'm sad to see that the rumors I heard here and there have been confirmed. Luna's was there forever, it seemed; my father used to eat there on occasion for lunch when he worked on Church St. back in the late 50's/early 60's. It was also the "headquarters" back in the day for "Crazy Joe" Gallo, the brilliant but sociopathic gangster who inspired one of Bob Dylan's more memorable songs (Gallo was shot down in Umberto's, which was directly across the street if I remember right-- but Gallo, although his name became inextricably linked to Umberto's, only ate there once-- his first and his last time). And my oldest friend had his pre-wedding dinner there.

            Not saying it was the best Italian restaurant ever, but it seemed a venerable ol' institution that served great Italian food, and plenty of it, and had a wonderful atmosphere and historic feel.

            And it disappeared in favor of what? A shop selling knick-knacks? It's almost enough to make one weep (I mean, not quite...but you get the idea).

            1. re: legsdiamond12

              I just called there and although the telephone rang and rang, it did NOT come back with the dreaded "intercept message" of:"I'm sorry, but the number you have dialed is no longer in service> Please check your listing"... To the best of my knowledge, Luna's is STILL there, and the telephone number is 212-226-8657. Try it and maybe you'll have better luck than I did. It was at about 10:25AM when I called, so I really doubt that anyone was there to answer the phone. Now, as for having been closed, it's true that they WERE closed, but that was for remodeling. The restaurant was so old that the kitchen could no longer pass the required safety inspections. They needed a lot of things; but a new menu was NOT one of them! They are still open, and most likely always will be.

              1. re: DaSarge

                Thanks for the update, DaSarge. Knowing that they're still open is good news, and might actually motivate me to take a ride back into Manhattan (something I haven't done in years, although I had previously been going back and forth into Manhattan since the days of my infancy).

                1. re: legsdiamond12

                  My favorite was the veal and penne with a vodka sauce. I hope you have a great time!!

                2. re: DaSarge

                  Slow down. The Luna Restaurant we are discussing was on Mulberry Street north of Canal, east side of the block, next door to Ferrara (not the Ferrara on Grand) at 110 Mulberry. It is now a souviner shop, I assure you of that. If you still doubt me, google the street view. The Luna you called is on Mulberry north of Canal on the west side of the street at 115. It is not, I repeat, not the same Luna. The old joint with the broken uneven floor that was really two narrow storefronts joined by a walkway at the back that served the longest hero sandwiches that I have ever seen is gone. Who knows what happened to the old women in black that would sit at the round table at the back peeling garlic by hand, all day long. Luna, gone but not forgotten.

                  1. re: stuartlafonda

                    I should've known it was too good to be true. It's been more than a few years since I've been to Mulberry Street, but I had heard from people who have been recently that it was no longer there. I liked to think that maybe they were mistaken, that it was impossible for such a venerable institution and landmark to close down, but...sadly...I was wrong.

                    1. re: stuartlafonda

                      You are the only one that has your information correct. There was only one LUNA & it is exactly the one that your talking about, which is a dam souvenir shop. What a waste. I could never understand why someone in their family didn't keep it & make it better. It was a goldmine. Even when we went at 1:00 a.m. there was a line outside the door for this little 2 store restaurant with the uneven floors. I truly miss going there. Thanks for setting these other people straight.

                      1. re: LUCYMONTE

                        I have a very very old story about Luna. When in high school (1979) my boyfriend and I went into the city from suburban NJ to hang out. We found ourselves in the middle of the Puerto Rican Day celebrations (that was an experience) and then decided to have dinner in Chinatown. We wandered around for awhile, and went into a place called "Luna". Sounded kinda Chinese you know, with your eyes crossed anyway. When we opened our menus we realized we'd crossed the line into Little Italy. I think we stayed, but given that it's 35 years back now..... this thread just brought back some memories!