Tre Luna Bar and Kitchen is the Mooney family’s grand entrance onto the restaurant scene.

 

 

Brian and Erin Mooney always knew that if they ever opened a restaurant, they would do it for their children—a loveable brood of three that inspired the name Tre Luna, which is Italian for Three Moons. The ‘little Mooneys,” as Erin calls them, are now 14, 12 and 7, but even though they’re not so little anymore, they still inspire their restaurant-owner parents daily.



In fact, family is a big reason that Tre Luna Bar and Kitchen happened in the first place. Brian and Erin, who met in South Florida, moved back to Birmingham after getting engaged so that they could be close to family. They had both been working at a restaurant in Florida, where Brian was a line cook and Erin was a waitress. They met on the job, fell in love, and the rest is history.

As a bonus reason to return to the Magic City, Brian was pursuing an opportunity to further his blossoming culinary career at Bottega—but he had always dreamed of owning his own restaurant. The dream began to come true when the couple had the opportunity to buy an established catering company, which turned into the beginning of Tre Luna.

The next six years brought steadily increasing success, and slowly but surely, the Mooneys realized that owning their own restaurant might be feasible, after all. A friend told them about the development of The Village at Brock’s Gap, and something about the location called to Erin and Brian as a place to finally do what they always wanted to do: open a restaurant all their own.

“We felt it was a great fit for us and we signed the lease on a prayer,” Erin says of the Brock’s Gap location. “We wanted to create a fine dining experience with a casual feel. We wanted to offer a date night restaurant and bar for special nights, and a gathering space for our community.”

And that is exactly what they’ve done. Those who choose Tre Luna for their night out can expect a cozy, trendy environment that lends itself to a great time for couples, groups and families. The menu boasts handmade pastas, locally sourced produce and Italian-American comfort foods.

“I am very excited about offering pizza from the wood burning oven,” Erin says. “Brian’s pizza crust has amazing flavor. I also love our braised beef short ribs, spinach and artichoke dip, and white chocolate bread pudding.”

As magical as the food might sound, the experience of watching their dream restaurant come together was the high point of opening Tre Luna for the Mooneys. The space was designed by Christine Botthof, and watching the weekly renovation progress was a delight that Brian and Erin will never forget.

But there are challenges, too, of course; building a strong staff and staying involved in the day-to-day operations can be tough when raising a family. Thankfully, the restaurant business has a way of livening things up at just the right time—a truth the Mooneys experienced recently when a couple got engaged at Tre Luna.

“It was so very exciting,” Erin says of the special moment. “I think our space is beautiful and romantic, and I hope we have many more engagement celebrations here!”

Given how hard Brian and Erin have worked—and continue to work—to make Tre Luna a beautiful gathering space for the community, there’s a good chance they’ll see special moments in their restaurant for years to come. The couple values service above all else, and they do whatever it takes to give their guests the best experience possible.

We strive daily to provide the best locally sourced food and the best service possible,” Erin says. “Our motto is to have a servant’s heart. We want our community to feel at home and special.”

Part of making that community feel loved is providing jobs, which the Mooneys feel honored to do. They want people to be able to come to work in a loving, supportive environment, and to do work that is valuable and productive.

“We can’t wait to see what our journey has in store for us,” Erin says. “We believe this has all been God’s plan. It is not easy pulling off owning two businesses and raising a family. We owe it all to God.”