Contemporary Filipino restaurant Magna has a new future home. Chef Carlo Lamagna has confirmed that the restaurant will now open in the Noho’s Hawaiian Cafe space on SE Clinton. Originally slated to open on NE 42nd, Magna will open doors sometime this spring — April or May — on the corner of Clinton and SE 26th, near the Clinton Street Theater. Noho’s will remain open on NE Fremont.
Lamagna says his decision to move was mainly due to too many delays. “As someone trying to open a restaurant with a family to support, it just gets hard,” he says. “I was so dead-set on that neighborhood, my neighborhood... (but) when I began to expand my search, tons of doors opened.” Lamagna plans to cater to the local high school kids, who often visited Noho’s for its popular $5 lunch special; Lamagna will also serve lunch, specializing in rice bowls, noodles, and porridges — the stuff he says he grew up eating in high school. As for the decor, not much will change from the original plans. The restaurant will seat around 40 and remain “bright and colorful” — “it’s who we are as a people,” he says.
Cully has been cursed with set backs since last year: Fried chicken restaurant Yonder was supposed to open just down the street, but it was delayed several months because of permitting snafus. Last summer, Stacy Givens’ food business incubator Community Supported Kitchen announced it would abandon its space in the Delphina’s Bakery redevelopment because of delays. While all these big-deal openings got stuck in permit quicksand, meat market and restaurant Old Salt Marketplace shuttered in July.
Those who can’t wait until spring for Lamagna’s Filipino food can hit a handful of menu-testing pop-ups at Nightwood Society this week — the restaurant will throw five-course dinners on Friday and Saturday night, as well as a Sunday morning brunch January 27th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Update, January 14, 2019, 2:30 p.m.
This story has been updated to include new comments from Lamagna.