Get ready for a sensual feast when Lucky Cat opens in October at 2583 Broad.
And that’s not just the food.
The subdued lighting combines with the rich-looking wood on the bar and tables and the floral and geometric prints on the wall. The restaurant is sleek and elegant but it also creates an atmosphere where guests will have a good time whether they’re in jeans or dressed to the nines.
The cat face is gone from the logo. “We’re going through a little bit of rebranding where we’re changing up our image a bit, says chef/owner Zach Nicholson. “We want it to reflect the more slightly serious direction we’re going.”
That’s “slightly” serious. “I want it to be casual and approachable, but laser-focused on quality.”
“Ramen” was dropped from the restaurant name because they will serve more than ramen, Nicholson says. “We’re still going to provide a lot of the dishes that people have come to know us for and love. But I would say we’re going to round out our menu with much more than just ramen and provide a lot of what could be found in a traditional Japanese izakaya [eeZAHkeeyuh], which is essentially a Japanese gastro pub.”
For the bar, they’re “trying not to focus on top-tier liquors, but the flavor combinations and technique."
Nicholson and his wife, Sarah, will be at the helm at the two-story restaurant that includes an extremely spacious patio.
The Nicholsons began making and selling ramen dishes at Lucky Cat Ramen pop-up restaurants around town before moving into their first temporary brick-and-mortar restaurant at 247 Cooper.
The new 5,600-square foot restaurant will be in the former Jack Magoo’s space.
“Downstairs will be the restaurant with seating for about 16 at the bar and 40 or 50 more seats in the dining room. And we’ll have patio seating outside for an additional 30 or 40. Upstairs will be a cocktail lounge that we are in the process of developing. It will have a separate personality that will still share DNA with Lucky Cat, but will have its own identity as well.”
Live music is planned for outdoors “when we have good weather. And we also plan to have outdoor vegetable gardens.”
They’re already purchased a 12-foot blood red Japanese maple tree that will arch over the patio, Nicholson said.
As for the look, Nicholson says, “We wanted to create a very warm, inviting dining room that draws inspiration from some of our favorite places where we’ve eaten. You’ll find lots of natural wood and some cozy, amber light. And nice tones of gold and red.”