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Sunday at Luana’s Tavern, the New Place on 4th

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

A new-American restaurant opens in a highly trafficked corner where P.J. Hanley’s once held court.

Illustration by Zac Crawford @theartistzac

It was the restaurant owners’ friend moonlighting as a magician who asked me to take a bite. I gave him a look – “bite, that?” – then wiped my fingers clean of duck wings, picked a card from the ones he fanned before me and… bit it. Brunch at Luana’s Tavern was served.


One of the newest entrants to Carroll Gardens’ robust dining scene, Luana’s Tavern is a new-American restaurant whose burgers and duck wings have already become popular with locals. The eatery sits on the southeastern corner of Court Street and 4th Place, a highly trafficked area known mere months ago as Court Street Tavern. Court Street Tavern and next-door off-shoot Court Street Steaks closed suddenly in late March, prompting husband and wife duo Enrique Miron and Alana Miron to move swiftly to buy the space. The property held sentimental value: It was where the couple had met for the first time 14 years prior, when it was still known as P.J. Hanley’s.


Once thought to be Brooklyn’s oldest-standing bar, P.J. Hanley’s was an Irish pub that reigned from 1874 to 2013. It racked up many stories (read: rumors) in its 139 years. One such rumor claims Al Capone met his wife there.


Various restaurants have opened since P.J. Hanley’s closed. Court Street Tavern was the most recent, and in March, the owners opened Court Street Steaks next door. Court Street Steaks showed promise - a good Philly cheesesteak is hard to come by in NYC! - but the quick-service eatery was short-lived. It closed after only a few weeks and who knows how many cheesesteaks. This writer placed three orders and received two, though that’s a story for a different time.


Photo by Robespierre Dornagon @robes.co

After scooping up the space in April, Mr. and Mrs. Miron overhauled the interior of what would become Luana’s Tavern in eight weeks. They installed locally sourced vintage lighting fixtures from Nostalgia Antique Shop and a crisp coat of paint that complemented the pièce de résistance: the carved wooden bar.


“The same person who built that bar built P.J. Clarke’s original one in the city,” said Mr. Miron, who grew up in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood. “You can’t touch that. Why would you want to, anyway?”


On May 12, their six-year wedding anniversary, the Mirons held a friends and family opening for the restaurant, which officially opened to the public the next day. Speaking over lunch, they shared their vision for the restaurant, named after their eldest daughter.


“We want to have this place become a neighborhood tavern, a place for everyone. Families with kids, a date at the bar,” Mrs. Miron said. “There’s so much history and character, we weren’t trying to go with any trend.”



The brunch and dinner menus offer cosmopolitan updates to reliable classics. The Crispy Chicken Sandwich, $21, comes with an apricot harissa glaze and hoisin mayo. The Fish & Chips, $26, are served with a side of malt vinegar fries and a yuzu chipotle tartar sauce. The Duck Wings, $16, are a must; they’re coated in a glaze reminiscent of Mumbo Sauce from the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia (DMV) area. The chef, Mr. Miron's brother, previously worked at Cipriani on West Broadway.


Burgers are the restaurant's specialty: There's the Smash Burger, $21, and the Tavern Burger, $25, both of which are served on brioche. For those looking for a lighter option, the Niçoise Salad, $24, is packed with fresh vegetables, topped with seared tuna and punctuated by a fresh herb vinaigrette.


The couple’s food industry experience is complemented by an innate sense of hospitality and a popularity that attracts passersby, such as the Magician Friend, to pop in for eats (and sleight of hand). Recently, Mr. Miron, whom Mrs. Miron described as “the mayor of Carroll Gardens,” went viral for employing his knowledge of sign language to take a deaf diner’s order. Mr. Miron is a CODA, or child of a deaf adult.



“We’re not looking to make the most expensive menu or the most elaborate dishes, but we want it to be of good quality,” said Mrs. Miron, whose uncle owns Minetta Tavern in the West Village. Previously, Mr. Miron ran his own produce wholesale business and studied wine under the tutelage of a mentor.


Luana’s Tavern is a synthesis of the rich history of its physical location, its founders’ love story, their industry connections and what has been missing from the neighborhood – a modern American tavern. In recent weeks, Luana’s has hosted live music bands in the outdoor space and plans to host more, noise complaints pending.


There’s also plenty to explore inside of the building itself. While rummaging through the basement, Mr. and Mrs. Miron found a safe manufactured by a company that was in business in the mid-1800s.


“[The safe] is usable, I would have to grease it up,” Mr. Miron said. “Somebody gave me the code and I opened it. I found movie tickets from the 2000s. I thought I would find gold coins.”




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4 Comments


Wicksie Tu
Wicksie Tu
Aug 07, 2023

Sounds so amazing!

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Tanner Stransky
Tanner Stransky
Aug 07, 2023

Can't wait to give this place a try!

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Lori Parks
Lori Parks
Aug 06, 2023

Very captivating, I feel as if I was in the neighborhood. Luana’s is a must go to the next time I’m in BK.

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Robespierre Dornagon
Robespierre Dornagon
Aug 06, 2023

Confirmed the Duck Wings are the MUST!!

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