Regina’s Grocery opened last week on the far end of Orchard Street, offering a menu of classic sandwiches and the heartbeat of an Italian social club. Founded by Roman Grandinetti, the slim storefront aims to bring homespun comfort to the Lower East Side. Roman’s mother, Regina, rules the counter, turning out creations such as the Uncle Phil (prosciutto and mozzarella), Big Anthony (mortadella and provolone) and Grandma Lucy (tuna and house-made olive spread).
“We want to let you into Regina’s kitchen. My mother has taken care of my friends and family for years; we want to be a part of the neighborhood and fill a void,” says Roman. In addition to the roster of sandwiches, each an homage to a real family member, salads and other to-go items will soon be available.
After 5 p.m., Roman is ready to turn over his family’s shop to your clan: Regina’s Grocery will be available for private dinners. “We want you to close the door behind you and feel like you’re home.” says Roman. He also hints that events may soon dot the calendar.
As the founder of creative media agency CNNCTD, Roman designed the space to reflect his upbringing in Bensonhurst through a modern lens. Modeled after the pork shops he frequented as a kid, he kept many of their elements but stripped it down to a sleek black-and-white color palette. The front space is reminiscent old-school Brooklyn social clubs, re-creating the convivial neighborhood atmosphere on Orchard Street.
For some, running multiple businesses is challenging, but Roman seamlessly integrates the two. “I built something where my partners, potential clients and friends can come into and feel comfortable.” Sounds like the best (and most delicious) office ever.