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Tuscan Restaurateur to Take Over Storied Milady’s Space in Soho

Pino Luongo has signed a lease to open a restaurant in the former bar

Milady's Daniel Krieger

More than three years after classic Soho dive bar Milady’s closed, a new tenant will finally enter the space. Steve Cuozzo at the Post reports that pioneering Tuscan cuisine restaurateur Pino Luongo signed a lease to open a restaurant in the storied bar.

Milady’s closed in 2014 after more than 80 years at 160 Prince at Thompson Street. It was an old-school, blue-collar bar that also became the favorite of the art crowd and publishing industry in Soho over the years. Its closure was considered a huge loss for the neighborhood. Since then, the space has remained empty, though others have eyed it for a restaurant.

Luongo plans to debut in the corner space in the fall, according to the Post. Asking rent was $30,000 per month for a ten-year lease.

The restaurateur also runs Morso, an Italian restaurant that opened in 2011 and has since become a neighborhood fixture in the Upper East Side. It’s his only restaurant now, but he previously had a bonafide Italian restaurant empire, with spots in Chelsea, Rockefeller Center, the Hamptons, and the Upper East Side. Luongo was both revered and controversial in his prime, getting into high-profile feuds with other chefs and restaurateurs. Anthony Bourdain immortalized Luongo in his book “Kitchen Confidential” as “a man envied, feared, despised, emulated and admired by many who have worked for and with him.”

When Luongo’s UES restaurant Centrolire closed in 2012 after 11 years in business, he said that he was done opening restaurants in New York — unless “the perfect thing came up.” Eater has reached out to Luongo. Stay tuned for more.

Update: Luongo writes in an email to Eater that while he is involved in the development of the restaurant, “a talented young chef and manager” will be the ones to manage it and run it. A name and menu for the casual Italian restaurant has yet to be finalized.

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