Credit: Nico Eyes.

Following on the recent news of Greenwich Village eatery Dante’s expansion to a second location in Little Italy comes another development of interest to fans of Italian cuisine.

Today is the grand opening of Regina’s Grocery, an Italian-American comfort-food joint at 27 Orchard Street on the Lower East Side, next door to The Fat Radish.

The store, founded by Roman Grandinetti, principal of the “content management” firm CNNCTD, and his mother, Regina, has been in soft-opening mode for several weeks.

“Old-school delis are closing faster than they’re opening,” said Roman Grandinetti; he views Regina’s Grocery as a way to revitalize a dying art. All food is prepared by hand by Regina.

Modeled on “the vintage pork stores of Brooklyn” and old-fashioned social clubs, the cozy hole-in-the-wall spot accommodates only 10-12 people inside, plus has outdoor seating for two.

The menu is sandwiches, salads, and red-sauce Italian staples like meatball marina and sausage and peppers. Regina and Roman are only offering sandwiches and salads as of now but will begin offering hot dishes this weekend. There is no fixed menu for hot dishes; as all food is made from scratch the day of, different dishes will be available each day depending on what ingredients Regina has on hand and seasonal availability.


The store will also sell jars of homemade sauces and spreads and imported Italian grocery items. The idea is that customers can buy the ingredients for meals they like and try cooking them at home. “My mom has been essentially teaching people as they come in,” said Grandinetti. “My mom is always teaching. She is not old-school where she isn’t telling you her secrets.”

Regina’s also plans to host poker nights, after-hours events, and private dinner series. The private dinners will be four- or five-course meals for small parties, planned in advance with Regina and served family-style. “It’s the way my mom has always done holidays,” said Grandinetti. “You can take leftovers home. If there are any.”

They’re open Mondays through Saturdays, “12 to 5 every day or till we sell out,” and plan to begin opening at 10am next week for coffee service.