Lucia’s ends long run

Lucia's, a leader in the local food movement since 1985, closes Oct. 14.

Lucia’s saw record sales in the final days of its 32-year run, according to the general manager.

The restaurant filled to capacity, alumni returned with offers to help out, and patrons sought the asking price for Lucia’s chocolate chip cookie recipe.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said General Manager Tom Peterson.

Peterson attributed the closure to a “perfect storm” of small factors: Large equipment expenditures, the loss of key staff members, lost parking to the condo development next door, and an unwieldy business model at Lucia’s To Go. The new chef Alan Bergo was the right person to help turn the business around, he said, but it was “too little, too late.”

The ownership group behind Stella’s Fish Café took over Lucia’s in late 2014 to allow founder Lucia Watson to retire.

Peterson said conversations about a new concept are underway.

“The spirit of Lucia’s will likely perpetuate in a new iteration of this space,” Peterson said. “That’s my hope.”