Business Buzz: Lucas Local
Update: The story has been updated on January 2 with information provided by the business.
Business name: Lucas Local Oyster Bar and Woodfire Cookery
Address: 48 South Main Street, Newtown
Owner: Vincent Cappelletti
Business background: With more than 30 years in the restaurant business, Vincent Cappelletti has experience directing a variety of culinary successes.
Most recently, he worked as director of operations for The Meatball Shop in Manhattan and as a director for Chopt Creative Salad Company.
Now as the captain of the nautical-themed Lucas Local ship, which opened October 13, he is using his extensive background to bring specialty seafood cuisine to Newtown.
Lucas Local is particularly near and dear to Mr Cappelletti, because it is named after his 11-year-old son Lucas.
Having previously had a restaurant named after his 15-year-old daughter Isabella, his son was eager to let his father know that he was looking forward to having his father name a restaurant after him one day.
The reason Lucas Local has a focus on oysters is also significant, Mr Cappelletti says, as when Lucas was young he had a shellfish allergy so severe that at one point he had to be hospitalized.
"We went through rigorous tests with the allergists," Mr Cappelletti said. "…and the day that we found out from the allergist that he was free of allergies, we went down to SoNo in Norwalk and knocked down a couple dozen oysters to celebrate. He ate every fish on the menu."
As a result, his son not only inspired the name of the restaurant, but also the menu.
Other members of his family were also influential in creating Lucas Local, specifically helping with the many design elements.
Formerly home to Peachwave in Newtown, the space has been remodeled to now include items representing land and sea to showcase the food Lucas Local serves.
Mr Cappelletti and his girlfriend traveled all over New England to find unique items like antique oars, 100-year-old floorboards, handmade tables, beer garden chairs from Germany, an anchor, life preserver, and a salty sea captain portrait that resides near the bar entrance.
"We also have a moss wall at the end [of the restaurant], which was built by my daughter and my girlfriend piece by piece with glue guns," Mr Cappelletti said.
Business focus: The Lucas Local kitchen is run by Mr Cappelletti and Chef Brett Mitchell, who collaborate on the menu daily.
"Our primary cuisine is seafood, but we do have options for non-seafood lovers," Mr Cappelletti said.
However, Lucas Local is not the type of restaurant with a 15-page menu.
Everything is made fresh, using seasonal New England ingredients, and Lucas Local even has an onsite oyster shucker.
The full-service bar is stocked with top shelf liquors and spirits, local beers, and Tito's Vodka on tap.
Mr Cappelletti says they also have their own infused vodkas available like celery and spicy habanero; beet, dill, and cucumber; and the herbal vodka infusion with rosemary, thyme, sage, and basil.
"We utilize those as the mixers for the Bloody Mary cocktail," Mr Cappelletti said. "There are so many combinations."
The Blood Mary's are stacked and made to order, and can have a variety of items skewered like shrimp, lobster, and fried fish.
Important to know: Mr Cappelletti says Lucas Local sources its products regionally and has everything from oysters, shellfish, shrimp, and lobster to more "underutilized fish" like wild caught sea bass, brown trout, and arctic char.
By constantly working on providing something new and unique for customers, the menu changes quickly, about every two weeks.
"We also want to bring a little swagger from New York City of what's going on down there and bring it here," Mr Cappelletti said.
Near future promotions, events, seasonal specials: For Sunday Brunch, Bloody Mary's start at $9.
Tuesday through Friday, Lucas Local offers Happy Hour specials, from 4 to 7 pm, with deals like $7 martinis, Old Fashioneds, and Moscow Mule on tap.
From 4 to 6 pm during Happy Hour, there are also $1 oysters available, until December 30.
Those looking for New Year's Eve dinner plans can make their reservations now at Lucas Local to enjoy its "Shuck and Jive" prix-fixe meals, party favors, and champagne. From 4 to 8 pm, a three-course dinner is $34 per person and from 8 pm to midnight a five-course dinner is $64 per person.
Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday, from 4 to 10 pm; Thursday and Friday from noon to 10 pm; Saturday, from 3 to 10 pm; Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm; and closed Monday.
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