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Mexican restaurant with Spanish twist opens on Steinway

Rossa Quinn outside Lunera

May 10, 2017 By Jason Cohen

A new Mexican restaurant with a Spanish twist opened in Astoria Thursday.

Lunera, located at 32-25 Steinway Street, offers a large menu created by Jose Ignacio Sanchez, the executive chef at the Spanish Embassy.

The restaurant offers items such as tacos—including those of the pork, beef, chicken and veggie variety—to red snapper, crab cakes, homemade guacamole, and quinoa salad with balsamic shrimp.

The restaurant seats 65 people inside and has room for 16 sidewalk seats. At night, there is a DJ.

Lunera is owned and operated by Rossa Quinn, 39, an Astoria resident who has worked in the food service industry for 23 years. This is his first restaurant.

Quinn grew up in Ireland and began working in restaurants at the age of 15.

His passion for Mexican food stems from his time travelling through Honduras, Belize, Mexico and Guatemala in 2006 and 2007, where he was exposed to the local cuisine.

“Just to experience those cultures and the drinks I really fell in love with it,” Quinn said.

Quinn said he moved to Astoria in 2004 and quickly fell in love with the neighborhood. While he has worked primarily in Manhattan restaurants in the past decade, including being a manager at O’Flanagans on the Upper East Side, what really pushed him to open Lunera was his stint overseas.

Quinn took the Steinway Street space in November and gut-renovated the interior. He recently added the finishing touches, such as erecting ancient Mexican masks on the wall to painting red moons along the back wall.

Quinn said he named the restaurant after a common Spanish nursery rhyme.

“Lunera is a nostalgic name for people,” Quinn explained.

Ultimately, he feels the ambiance, service and food will attract people to Lunera and keep them coming back.

“I’m very confident in what I can bring to the table,” Quinn said. “It’s about time to show it.”

The restaurant is open 12 p.m. to 2.a.m., Sunday through Thursday, 12 p.m. to 4 a.m., Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 a.m.

email the author: news@queenspost.com

14 Comments

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Anonymous

Looking forward to trying it out. I hope you do Sunday brunch. I moved to the area 10 years ago and I love all the new bars and restaurants opening,

Reply
your neighbor

Best of luck, something a little different, but a DJ at night? I certainly don’t want to go there with my family when there is a DJ blasting music.
Could Quinn be a club-owner wannabee? Not sure the neighbors are going to like it.

Reply
tonya

Most new restaurants in Astoria or not geared to attract families. They are set up to attract the younger working crowd. Selling food is just an easier way for these places to serve alcohol and stay up all night (that’s where the money is). Visit a diner, fast food chain or pizzeria if you want to go out with your kids at night. Just make sure that they are still open and haven’t been closed by the health dept.

Reply
Anonymous

We are very food focused. We will only have Dj after dinner service on a Friday Saturday night. Hope to see you there.

Reply
Anonymous

I’m sure the Dj will start after 10 and it’s Steinway street!! Who will be their neighbor, Verizon, Mama’s Empada’s and really bad clothing stores!!

Reply
adeeti

I am sorry but this is Astoria. You can expect rising quality of life issues if you live here. Astoria is a renter or buyer beware neighborhood. If you do not like busy sidewalks, high traffic, expensive rents, overpriced eateries, large crowds, always having to watch your back and loud noise at night..then choose to live somewhere else. That’s why i did. I rent out my place.

Reply
Yasss

The spot next door is a night club. This is also along the same strip as Basurero which has its windows open at night and plays music

Perhaps music would be reserved for later hours when people are coming in for cocktails. Could be fun

Sounds like a great venture. I hope they do well

Reply
Rossa

This is an exciting new modern Mexican restaurant opened up in the heart of Astoria right by the subway stop. Easy access to and from Manhattan for those who wish to explore Astoria. We have designed a beautiful menu and cocktail program. So If you are in the neighborhood stop by to check us out.

Reply
Raul Briceno

Wish you the best of luck. Stopped in earlier today. Food was delicious and service from Tania and Mike was awesome.

Reply
Never Left Astoria

An Irishman running a Mexican place! Will they have Guinness with the burritos?

Reply
Anonymous

No Guinness lol. This is a Team effort and we have an amazing supporting cast that brings this together , from all different nationalities .

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