New Bellingham restaurant Luna’s Bistro aiming for Sept. 8 opening

Luna’s Bistro is nearly ready for the public, and Jesse Cantu is looking forward to running something he enjoyed in the past.

Cantu said they are putting the finishing touches on the new eatery, aiming for a Monday, Sept. 8, opening. The restaurant is at 3004 Cinema Place, near the Barkley Regal Cinema Stadium 16. Once open, hours will be 3 p.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday, noon to midnight Friday and Saturday.

The restaurant will focus on Italian cuisine but also offer other dishes, Cantu said. It’ll have seven different pastas, made from scratch, as well as 17 different pizzas. Steak and local seafood also will be on the menu. The bar area will have local beers on tap, an extensive wine list and televisions. He added that many main courses will be in the $13 to $19 range.

Cantu is known locally for his three JalapenosMexican restaurants, but before moving here he worked at a variety of Italian and French restaurants. He expects customers to see this restaurant as very different than his other Bellingham ventures, tilting more toward a semi-casual, more romantic place for a date night. He wants to balance that with a family atmosphere, adding offerings like a kids’ menu. He expects it to be a quieter place than Jalapenos.

“After we open I think people will realize that it is the kind of restaurant open for anyone,” Cantu said.

Updates can be found on Luna’s Facebook page.


Luna’s fills the last spot in the first phase of retail buildings around the movie theater. It probably will be a year or two before the next phase of development takes place in that area, said Jeff Kochman, president of Barkley Company. He said the company wants to take some time to catch its breath, gauge the economy and see what is in demand before deciding what to do next.

Some of the options they are pondering for the area include a health club and further retail. As a few more buildings go in, the plan is to put in a parking garage on the southwest side of the property.

Barkley Company will look at adding more residential spots after leasing all its apartment units in the recently completed Cornerstone Building within a 30-day period. The nearby mixed-use building has more than 100 apartment units.

Kochman said the units went to a wide range of people, including young professionals, college students and retirees. When asked why potential tenants were interested in the Cornerstone apartments, Kochman said location was the most common reason given, along with security, parking, unit size and quality amenities.


The Shakedown announced on Facebook that it is expanding into a nearby space on North State Street. The live music venue plans to call the new space Shakey’s Bar and Pinball Lounge. ... A state liquor license application was submitted for a new restaurant called Maikham, going into the former Dashi Noodle Bar space at 1311 N. State St. The applicants are Usanee and Scott Klimo. ... A building permit application was submitted to combine two retail spaces at 3206 Orleans St. for a nail salon.