One of the last holdouts in the ever-changing landscape of Uptown will bow out of business when Lucia’s closes for the final time on October 14. The restaurant was founded more than three decades ago by its namesake chef, Lucia Watson. She was Minneapolis’ Alice Waters—a champion for local food, farmers and our collective culinary heritage. Watson sold the business in 2014 to an investment group. Not long afterwars, longtime sous chef Ryan Lund left (Lund is now the chef at Wayzata’s ninetwentyfive restaurant.) However, the new restaurant owners pledged to carry on Lucia’s legacy and hired chef Alan Bergo, an avid forager, to take the helm.
Under Bergo the restaurant continued to garner good reviews with the Star Tribune’s Rick Nelson writing in May of this year, “Flavorful, lick-the-plate pan juices were the result of obvious prowess.”
Unfortunately, for the restaurant, it lost its coveted parking lot space next door. According to investor Jason Jenny, who spoke with the Star Tribune about the closure, sales plummeted by fifty percent.
Lucia’s To Go, the bakery/cafe branch of the restaurant has already shuttered. The wine bar and restaurant will remain open until October 14.
Watson was measured in her response, telling the Star Tribune, “That little restaurant had a really great run. Those guys — Alan in particular — worked really hard to keep it Lucia’s. But all things come to end, right? I hope that everyone who has a happy memory of Lucia’s will go there and eat in the next two weeks.”