“The biggest plus in this business is getting to meet new people,” Bob Lucarelli, local restaurant owner, said.
Lucarelli is the owner and operator of Nico Luciano’s, a family owned Italian restaurant on Main Street in Slippery Rock. The restaurant celebrated its one-year anniversary of opening on Friday April 28.
Nico Luciano’s in Slippery Rock is actually the second such restaurant in western Pennsylvania. The original Nico Luciano’s is in Ellwood City and Lucarelli said it has been in business for 11 years. Lucarelli said that he wanted to open up a second restaurant in Slippery Rock because he knew the area and his kids had friends here. Lucarelli also attended SRU for a few years in the 1970’s.
Nico Luciano’s in Slippery Rock opened up in the same exact building as Slippery Rock’s last Italian restaurant, La Famiglia, and after one year of business, it is in a good place.
“We have no plans on leaving, that’s for sure,” Lucarelli said. “We’re redoing the menus right now. I had to figure out what was popular here. There was a lot of stuff that we have in Ellwood that we didn’t use here, but we ran them as specials just to see what people liked.”
Lucarelli said that he wants to expand the menu to give people the opportunity to experience new foods.
To celebrate the one year anniversary, Lucarelli said there will be balloons throughout the restaurant and that all the customers that come in will get a piece of sheet cake, just like a birthday party.
Lucarelli runs the restaurant with four of his seven children, his dad and his wife and he says being able to work so closely with his family is a blessing.
“I’ve got to watch me kids grow and I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Lucarelli said. “There’s the old adage that you can’t please everybody, but we try to give everyone that comes in here gets a good experience.”
Lucarelli said that doing business in a college town takes a special kind of supervision. He said that restaurants in college towns need the right formula of, “low prices, the right portions and good food.”
In the one year he has been in Slippery Rock, Lucarelli said that he has felt very welcome in the community and has never had a single issue with anyone.
“As far as how we were treated and welcomed, it was awesome,” Lucarelli said. “I don’t have any regrets coming here.”