VALPARAISO | Many people have urged Nada Karas to open a third Lucrezia restaurant in Valparaiso. That's not in the works yet, but Valparaiso is getting the next best thing.
Karas plans to open a Good to Go by Lucrezia at 54 Lincolnway in about two months. She will discuss the plans to take over the former Collective Edge space at Tuesday's city Site Review Committee meeting.
The new venture will be similar to the deli, wine and specialty shop Karas started three years ago next to the Chesterton Lucrezia, selling frozen Italian entrees from the restaurant and other side dishes as well as Boar's Head brand lunch meats, imported and domestic cheeses and ultra olive oils, balsamic vinegars and sandwiches.
"Our intention was never to be a sandwich shop, but people would come in and ask if we would make them," Karas said. "For me, it was hard to tell them I would not make a sandwich. We had everything there to do it, so why wouldn't we."
Karas said she hasn't been able to find the right location to bring Lucrezia to Valparaiso, but when the space opened across from the Central Park Plaza, she decided that would be good for the restaurant adjunct.
"It will have a wine bar where you can have wine and beer by the glass and cheese and antipasto boards," she said. "It will be a noshing place similar to what you see in Europe."
She also plans to bring her love of olive oil to the new market.
"Olive oil is so exciting for us. It's not regulated, and 70 percent of what you buy in most stores is adulterated. Ours has all been tested, and I can tell you when it was born and where."
The market will be open six days a week, but they still are working to define the hours of operation. She expects to employ eight people and will have great holiday gifts and baskets for the "foodies." The wine club concept from the Chesterton store will be brought to Valparaiso.
Although she is only leasing the space, Karas said she plans to apply for a facade grant from the city in the spring to restore the front of the building.