Carrie Rengers

Bella Luna Cafe on East Central to close

Travis Heying

Matteo Taha has bad news that will perhaps be mitigated by some better news.

First, the bad: He’s closing his original Bella Luna Cafe at 4618 E. Central after the end of business on Tuesday.

“It really breaks my heart,” says Taha, who opened the restaurant in 1993. “Central is what made me.”

The better news? His other two Bella Lunas – at Bradley Fair and in NewMarket Square – will remain open.

“It’s not about money for me,” Taha says. “It’s about being happy, and I’m not happy unless I’m giving 100 percent.”

He says running three restaurants has been too difficult since his brother, Ali, died from cancer three years ago.

“I’m going to be honest with you,” Taha says. “He was a really big part of my business. It’s been really tough to deliver good service.”

He says he can’t divide himself among three places any longer.

“There’s no way I can watch three restaurants.”

Business remains strong at the Central Bella Luna, Taha says. A recent Friday’s lunch and dinner were the “busiest since we opened.”

“It’s not about (the) sale,” Taha says. “To me, it’s about delivering good product (and) good service.”

He says all of his employees will have jobs at his other restaurants.

Taha says he figures his Central diners can make the relatively short trip to his Bradley Fair Bella Luna.

College Hill people, I owe it to them for what I am today, but I really have no choice.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.