The Identity Shift Project Gallery

Photographer: Julie Hassett Sutton

Interviewer: Jessica Safran

This Gallery is the collection of moments from our participants’ Identity Shifts. They generously opened their worlds to us, and together we explored them.

Stefano: I was in Italy when Hurricane Sandy happened. I was stunned for the evening, I had to digest that my restaurant was completely destroyed. But I’ve had 10-12 different businesses. I’m used to moving on. I’m not the type of person to get stuck and put down roots and not think about change.

Adriana: Hurricane Sandy made me more aware of those I love. I met an amazing community of people – who came with masks and gloves, with food and drinks – for everybody. I don’t have these peoples’ names. I wish I could thank them.

All of our employees lost their jobs. There were originally 25 people. Several people will work with us again. The chef is coming back.

Stefano: We’re rebuilding in the same space after 7 years and have a better idea how to solve design problems. I like Front Street: the landmark street made with cobblestone, that’s near the water, on a block where there are no cars. It’s historic and has a lot of character.

Adriana: My family has been there through everything. My parents told us growing up: Material stuff comes and goes. You are a person; you are here today and not tomorrow. If we are alive, then we’re okay. Perhaps we’re upset for awhile, but then we’re okay.

For more information about the restaurant, visit


AM New York: EAT AND DRINK Where to dine at South Street Seaport

By TRACY E. HOPKINS/ Special to amNewYork (originally posted on August 4, 2015)

If you haven't been to the South Street Seaport lately, the lazy days of summer are the perfect time for a stroll along the cobblestone streets and brunch with a view of the East River. The historic waterfront area where Fulton Street meets the East River has a bevy of new restaurants and dining destinations. Here's where to get eating: 

After Barbarini Alimentari was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, owner Stefano Barbagallo rebuilt and reopened the space as Barbalu with his wife and partner Adriana Luque the following year. The resilient restaurateur says business is better than before. "I'm extremely proud of maintaining a presence in this beautiful area of New York," Barbagallo says. The minimalist, modern restaurant offers a menu of thoughtfully-prepared Italian fare, including sandwiches, salads, pastas and desserts. 225-227 Front St.,



From Time Out New York

Barbalu (Restaurants)
"This venue is expected to open fall 2013. 
The former Barbarini space—destroyed by Hurricane Sandy—will get a new look and name from husband-and-wife team Stefano Barbagallo and Adriana Luque. The duo—half the team behind the original Italian joint—will shrink the retail area, but much of the Italian menu (cold-cut plates, spaghetti with sausage ragù) will be recognizable to regulars. Drinkers in the nabe will also have reason to cheer, as the refab brings a larger bar area with more small plates available for munching. 225–227 Front St between Peck Slip and Beekman St (646-918-6565, Early September.