About this project
It all started in San Francisco. Marisa Cadena and Ken Ho worked together in one of the city's most bumping happy hour spots, Palomino, and quickly recognized a mutual work ethic and love of people in each other and began ruminating over the idea of their own venture. Howard Jang and Ken also worked together, but in the James Beard award-winning, Boulevard, talking fine French wine and suvée techniques. Fast forward a bunch of years and low and behold, we all end up in New York. Once we sat down and hashed out our concept for our ideal space, it became obvious we were on the same page. We wanted a place that was approachable, fun, and affordable while maintaining high-standards of quality and respect for both the products served and the staff employed. Our combined 40 plus years in the industry have taught us numerous lessons as we worked in every job imaginable. From washing dishes, delivering pizzas, and mopping floors to turn and burn, fine-dining, and live music bars– we have done it all. From the dishes and drinks to the ethical business practices that guide us, Lucky Luna is the culmination of those years of planning, wishing, and dreaming of a place to call our very own.
We are proud of our Mexican and Taiwanese heritage. Lucky Luna is the amalgamation of the beautiful balance we have discovered between our two cultures and flavored it with a touch of California and Brooklyn. The logo is a combination of two symbols reflecting this union. The Chinese "shou" is said to stand for longevity and fortune, while the "luna" guides both the push and pull of the tides, conserving the equilibrium of forces.
Lucky Luna’s menu is inspired by the classic foods found in popular Mexican and Taiwanese street corners and hidden pockets favored by locals. Surprisingly, Oaxaca and Taipei have more in common than one may have guessed, each playing with the search for the perfect balance of sweet and spice, savory meats, crisp vegetables, and ripe fruits in hand-sized treats. While focusing on these regions, Lucky Luna also pulls from South and Central America, China, and Vietnam in our modern approach to favorites by incorporating different cooking techniques, local produce, humanely raised meats, and healthy alternative ingredients.
Embracing standard, time-honored libations with parallel fervor for innovations, Lucky Luna’s beverage selection promises to appease and challenge traditionalists and introduce novices to new delights. Mezcal served with chili salt and oranges, kimchi and nori Bloodys, and Captain’s Bloods done right, are rules we live by. Lucky Luna’s wine list pays homage to the “New World” by highlighting affordable beauties from Chile and Argentina, out west from our beloved California, and of course locally, through both vinters and importers.
Lucky Luna is more than just awesome food and drink, we are proud to serve as a welcoming and supportive space for local and student artists, writers, chefs, and small business owners through the events and initiatives we take on. These include: supper clubs, in which a select number of guests enjoy a cocktail reception followed by a multi-course dinner and wine-pairing designed by guest chefs; art exhibitions, where guests can hear artists talk about their work and mingle with them during intimate receptions; sustainability workshops, where locals can learn about options and approaches to being environmentally/eco-friendly in their lives and businesses, and much more! Our blog is dedicated to highlighting these extras.
And then there's.......
Lucky Luna has been diligently working for months on the fun stuff like developing the ultimate food and drink recipes, finding the perfect decorative ambiance, creating the logo, building social media bridges... and the not so fun stuff like permits, leases, lawyers, and contractors, and all the other equally exciting (and costly) details which leads us to today.
The majority of money that will be used to fund Lucky Luna (and that has so far) stems from our own blood, sweat, and tears combined with numerous loans. And yet, in order to get the doors open, we still need a little more. That's where you come in! We have supported many of you as patrons ourselves or slaved away beside you in kitchens, bars, and dining rooms across the continent. We have created Lucky Luna with you in mind, so who better to be a part of this project?! Your contributions will be used for the purchase and installation of sound-proofing and new ceiling; sound system and projection equipment; take-out and dining room windows; customized outside awning; refrigeration and freezer units; ceiling fans; and fulfillment of Kickstarter fees, transaction charges, and rewards for contributions. The catch to Kickstarter is that we do NOT receive any of the money pledged unless we reach our funding goal :/
We have thoughtfully come up with a number of rewards for your generosity that we think are pretty awesome. Our t's and totes will feature our Lucky Luna logo. T's will be available in S, M, L, XL
Lucky Luna has been fortunate thus far to have so many wonderful supporters. This Kickstarter campaign would not have been possible without their time, love, creativity and talents. Please see our blog for a full list of supporters. We would love to add your name to this list!!!!
A VERY BIG THANKS to Harry Yuan of Double H Production and Organic Hobo, who, in addition to a billion other things, filmed and edited our video and provided us with photographs of our offerings (seen above). A shout-out to the video participants and menu testers-extraordinaire: Amanda Garcia, David Avila-Silver, David J. Bowker, Elizabeth, Jill, John Ploeser, Marin Watts of Media Masters Alliance, Nourah Mazid, Olivia Swisher of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Queena Ko of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Tali Petschek of Baywolf in Oakland, CA, and Von Diaz of Colorlines and Feet In 2 Worlds. And a special thanks to Chris Gaeta and Chris Lugo for logo and website support!
Risks and challenges
Taking the sustainability-minded approach to the restaurant world that is in the soil of the Bay Area and planting it in Brooklyn has proven to be a bit of a challenge even before we open the doors. While New York City is making efforts to provide infrastructure for more environmentally-friendly industrial practices like composting and recycling in cost effective alternatives, it has a ways to go. We embrace this opportunity to be with our like-minded Brooklyn neighbors to pave the way for greener pastures—so to speak— in our efforts to lead by example. We do acknowledge that we may have to make compromises at some corners. This we view as our greatest challenge in living up to this part of our mission.
With so many years each in the industry, we are confident that our combined skill-set, vision, and work ethic, together with the trust we have in each other, and the sheer love we have for this stressful and rewarding world of restaurants, we will flourish. We have spent our lives working to bring to life the dreams of others and have learned invaluable lessons from the process. Now it's our turn!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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