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PACE Race: Sunday Nov 4, 2007

Mama Lucia Loses her Mama and Finds a New Vibe

Mamalucia Mama Lucia, the well-loved, cozy, old world Italian restaurant in Kirkland Park Place, closed its doors in August to embark on a major overhaul.  The seats were always full and the crowd is fiercely loyal to this family owned business of twenty years.  So, it's exciting to see the place getting a facelift and major expansion into what used to be the retail space next door (Articles). 

Lucia_004 Mike Halter, a 28 yr old hottie Kirkland native, has always been involved in his family's restaurant businesses (there are 5 total) and stepped it up a notch when he bought out his brother seven months ago and moved here from L.A.  Having previously run this location, you'll recognize him as a familiar face with a vibrance that makes you feel like an old friend (photo left).  He's dropped the Mama and has big plans for "Lucia" , pronounced 'Lou-Chia' which will be opening in late October/early November. 

Lucia_001He's added over 2000 square feet to his space and has a contemporary look coupled with some rustic Italian charm intended to create a feel that will be warm and mix both the old and the new.  There's a big stairway up the side that is dark chunky wood with cable wire railings that leads up to a private dining room that can hold 60 people.  There will also be a bar/lounge area and live music to attract the happy hour crowd.    Mike wants to maintain the foundation, and value, by keeping some previous menu items (don't worry, they're not changing the CSR dressing!!) and offering up some different dishes as well.  Lucia will be open for lunch and dinner. Hours will be 11-11 and you'll make reservations at 425-889-0200.  Let's keep our eyes on this one! ~j


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Melody Elrod

Nice location, good food, delicious CSR dressing and a hot owner dishing it all up to boot? Count me in!!


The place sounds beautifull. Sounds like there will be plenty of Italian charm. Who crossed out hottie? I would agree to that.

Mo Yousef

This place used to be much better and the menue was also better. The food is not that great and the service is very slow. I used to love this place the way it used to be. I will not go back again, it's over priced and it's not even an Italian place any more.


I love this place! It is just what kirkland needed and is indeed a great place to wine and dine. The service is great and the resturant is much classier then before. Perfect for the younger crowd. The food is different but better. Go in with an open mind and do NOT expect the same resturant. It isnt its SOOO MUCH better. Micheal did a wonderful job and has much clientel because of it. The resturant is cozy with so many people so come early unless you want to be packed in. Overall I will go there again and again and again.

Kirkland Food/Wine Lover

Lucia's needs work. Extremely noisy. I do not mind normal buzz in the restaurant but when I cannot converse with the person sitting next to me then it is too loud. Our waitress had her own issues....filling a wine glass like it is a water glass is not acceptable...the stemware itself....very cheap and not on par with the rest of the decor ( are competing with Purple just a couple of doors down...they have great stemware and better service). They certainly packed in the people this evening...I had everyone walk by and hit my chair as they stepped through. We were disappointed. The hostess, Sarah, is the sparkling beam of hope at Lucia. We have known her forever. She is wonderful and warm and wanting to make everything right. If we go back it will be because of her.

won't be back

This was a big let down. Dined here last night- service was very slow, food was mediocre at best and very overpriced. Very disappointed- liked the old Mama Lucia's much better. For the same price (or maybe even less) I could have eaten at Purple and enjoyed my meal much more. I won't be back and will not recommend.


Sorry to see the old "Mama" go. It was something unique about its cramped interior, small tables, great (and cheap) food, friendly and personal staff. You actually could envision yourself in a smaller place somewhere in Europe. There's a reason I took my date (now wife) to Mama Lucia for our first lunch together in 1999.

The new "Lucia" is unfortunately only more of the same 21st century design we can find at so many places these days (Brix, Purple, Trellis to name the closest ones). It is designed, styled, w/o any real regard to the dining experience, but more to be a "hip" destination.

Sorry Lucia, but we need small and quirky (good) places, even in Kirkland. Don't let them be found only on Capitol Hill or in Wallingford.


We were disappointed. We tried it shortly after they opened - food just "ok" and a bit pricey and the service wasn't up to par. The old Mama Lucia's was one of our favorite places to eat and guess we were expecting similar menu. Unfortunately, doubt we will go back to Lucia's.


We were in there early on New Year's Eve (6:45 or so) and they were out of the first wine I ordered and the first dessert I asked for. Nothing memorable about it . . . I suppose they'll take the Purple overflow. I miss the cozy old place.

Kelly Moriarty

Amazing food and service. The new look is cozy and modern at the same time.

Hats off to Mike for pulling off a spectacular renovation!!!!


I knew this place would get mixed reviews having changed over from the 'old' place. We went here Friday night and were very impressed with the 'vibe' / atmosphere, the design, the service, and the food was quite good. We thought at that price, coupled with that presentation, that this place will do outstanding business. This is easily a restaurant you can enjoy a few times a month. We'll be back and I think a lot you will, too.

Sean Malone

BRAVO to Michael for making the big change. Its very easy to be complacent and not take risks in life, especially when things are going well. And Mama Lucia's was certainly going well. But Lucia raised the bar and I hope that others will recognize the greatness of this "new" place.


Very.... LA, you see all types, NY, LA, Girls guys that are Maxim, GQ wanna bee's. It's good for a laugh and OK food. I even saw someone wearing a sequined sparkled hoodie that must have come from the Liberachi collection. That made our night... I thought by the type of people in there they were filming some sort of tv comedy or something.

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