Many years ago we found a book of matches from Lucia’s Supper Club, a restaurant in Olean, New York. I don’t remember where we found them but they made an impression. We wrote a song about Lucia’s as we imagined it. If it was a supper club, there surely was more to it than the food, so we came up with a fictional band that took the stage after dinner. We recorded a song, “Lucia’s Supper Club,” for the album “It’s Different Out There” I did a drawing for the cover of the lp picturing what we imagined Lucia’s Supper Club looked like .
In 2002, on my birthday, we decided to track the place down. We weren’t even sure where Olean was but thought it was closer to Rochester than it turned out to be. The restaurant was still in business but but it was not as glamorous as we had pictured it. We had dinner there and when the waitress pronounced the name of the place she said “Loo-chia’s” instead of “Loo-cha’s”. Oh well, too late for that detail. I posted a piece about our visit in the Refrigerator and Lucia’s granddaughter spotted it and sent us this note.
“Hi, I was browsing the Internet this week and came across your info on the web. What prompted me to write to you is that I am Lucia Bardenett’s great-granddaughter. She was the “Lucia” of Lucia’s Supper Club in Olean. Oddly, this weekend we are celebrating my grandfather’s (Lucia’a son) 87th birthday. Nonna (as we called her) died in 1986, so my grandfather is really the last of the restaurant’s founding immediate family. My grandfather was her only child. He had 6 children who gave him 15 grandchildren and 2 of those have given him 3 great-grandchildren. I am the oldest of the 15.
So there’s a little info for you. I didn’t want to go on and on, but anyone who would be so intrigued by a pack of matches to write a song, design an album cover, and make a trip to Olean would probably be interested.
I am forwarding the link to your website to all of my family members (as you can tell from the above is quite a few). Could you tell me how to get a copy of that song? The mp3 version on your site won’t work for me. If you have a chance, could you even send me a copy of the lyrics. We’d be interested to see what you imagined about our family’s old restaurant.
By the way, I can guarantee Nonna would have gotten a kick out of your album cover; she was such a character!”
-Marie Rakus, Olean, NY
Here’s a ratty live version of Personal Effects “Lucia’s Supper Club” from Idol’s in Rochester, New York. Bob Martin plays guitar, Paul Dodd plays percussion, Peggi Fournier sings and plays keyboard, Robin Goldblatt Mills plays bass.