Food
INDY Week's food blog

Archives | RSS

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bar Lusconi opens in downtown Durham

Posted by on Thu, Apr 25, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Among a string of historic storefronts on Durham's East Main Street—torn down and rebuilt during the Prohibition era—the new Bar Lusconi is luring modern drinkers into a new era of beer and wine.

Narrowly tucked into 117B E. Main St., Bar Lusconi presented a thriving and casual soft opening last night.

It is the second bar by Timothy Neill and Jesse Gerstl, owners of the slick, unmarked speakeasy, Peccadillo, in Carrboro, which opened less than two years ago.

With a well-curated repertoire of international beer and wine, Neill aims to "get the best beer and wine possible," paying close attention to the more obscure.

"Basically, some of our smaller distributors say, 'we have only 10 cases of this,' and we'll just snap them up."

Modest simplicity determines both bar concepts. Just as Peccadillo has become the coy neighborhood bar in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, Durham residents can expect to be charmed by Bar Lusconi's hospitality and cozy, candle-lit ambiance.

"Tim does a really great job at making you feel like you've been invited over to someone's home," says Lewis Norton, a longtime bartender in downtown Raleigh who came to the opening. "Except it's more comfortable than that, because it's less of a ceremony. There's an art to making your customer feel that way."

Bartender Dean James noted that the short bar at the back of the narrow, 600-square-foot space is tight, encouraging that personal connection to each customer.

Last night, he and Neill poured wine tableside for service industry friends and curious new customers lounging along the wooden drink rail and at the few, high four-top tables.

Glasses included a 2007 Bender Pinot Noir from Germany ("It's the last of it, so drink up," Neill commented to customers) and an Italian Lini Lambrusco, a full, tangy, sparkling red.

Neill says wine prices start at $42 a bottle, finishing at $86, with beer at $7 a glass and closing out at $27.

Tall, bare walls reveal rustic splotches of white and pale blue, their original red finish still intact as a wide border at the top, leading to a tin ceiling.

"You find the space before the concept is in place," Neill says. "We fell in love with the ceilings, it was all just super beautiful."

The original wood floors contained water damage. What remained of the salvaged wood were tawny, weathered slabs to build the bar, drink rail and all tables. Underneath, a speckled, burgundy red floor was polished and left intact.

As for the name, it is not a deliberate pun alluding to Italy's scandalous former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

"I named the bar after Jesse's cat [the late Lusconi]," Neill jokes. "He wasn't even very fond of him, and I find it hilarious."

Bar Lusconi is open Wednesday through Saturday 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Tags: ,

Pin It
Keeping drinking: New bar opens in downtown Durham

Related Locations

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Food

More by Victoria Bouloubasis

Facebook Activity

Twitter Activity

Comments

Pretty sure some band named R.E.M. played their first gig outside of Georgia at the Station as well.

by Jonathan Lee on Southern Rail going up for sale (Food)

More details and photos here!

http://southernrailnc.wordpress.com/

by electrableu2 on Southern Rail going up for sale (Food)

Most Read

Latest videos from the INDY

© 2015 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation