Adrian Richardson calls time on a true Carlton North landmark.

Carlton North’s home of dry-aged steaks and burly reds, La Luna Bistro, hangs up the cleaver this August.

The news comes shortly after the restaurant celebrated its 25th birthday, with chef and owner Adrian Richardson deciding to close the chapter on his own terms with a view to exploring new opportunities. 

“We haven’t taken the decision to close La Luna lightly and feel very fortunate to be able to do so on our own terms,” he says. “My team and I have lots of other exciting projects we’re working on currently, so truthfully it just feels like the right time. We’re really finishing on a high.”

Richardson’s attention now turns to fostering the growth of his other venues, Gallery at Marvel Stadium, Maestro in Geelong and BOS in Brisbane, as well as his latest pop-up, Pasta Bambino, a passion project currently in residence at his Brunswick East property Bouvier Bar that will find a new home at Marvel in July.

Speaking to MFWF on the eve of La Luna’s 25th birthday celebrations last year, Richardson pointed to the enduring strength of his team as key to the restaurant’s longevity.

“I’ve been very lucky to have attracted good people over the years, some have come and gone, some have come back many times,” he says. Fostering a family atmosphere has always been a primary concern, he says. “I want people to feel safe, comfortable and well looked after; at the heart of it, that’s what hospitality means to me.”

A regular fixture in the March Melbourne Food & Wine Festival program, La Luna’s Suckling Pig Feast has been something of an annual appointment for more than a decade. “The suckling pig events are great fun,” says Richardson. “I think one of the things we have always wanted to do, and for me is part of the philosophy of MFWF, is to over-deliver. It’s about restaurants giving back to customers.”

In true La Luna style, the restaurant will bow out with a string of special dinners, no-shiraz beef feasts and menu restrospectives among them; a chance to salute the Rathdowne Street stalwart for a final time.

“It’s the end of an era for my team and I,” says Richardson.” but we are so excited about what is to come.”

La Luna, 320 Rathdowne St, Carlton North, (03) 9349 4888,, @lalunabistro

By Frank Sweet