Luchal Lucas and her husband were stationed in Fort Carson when she fell in love with Colorado Springs but her roots are in Compton, California. “Strait Out of Compton” she laughs as a line of patrons are waiting in the winter temperatures for her signature dishes.
With a degree from Auguste Escofier campus, Lucas has always been enticed by the creativity of food. Growing up watching her mother cook was an inspiration but where Lucas says her real love of cooking food came from was while she was in the military.
“I was a 92 Golf in the army before I got out in 2018. There was a Major in the Army who really loved the catering business I was creating and really pushed me to continue this business. A lot of the military has really helped me to get to this point. They are the ones who really turned the wheels for me.”
Starting as a catering company, then a food truck and now a full blown restaurant operation in Trolley District’s new COATI, Lucas was intentional about growing organically. Their menu items were grown organically as well.
Lucas goes on, “The customers really built our menu. The catfish was the menu item that caught on and the customers could not get enough of it. We definitely have a southern feel. Our customers would special request items and we would run with it. We have always been for them.”
And boy are the menu items a hit! Crab fries are the top requested item but don’t forget their wings and shrimp, sausage and grits, fried okra and rotating seasonal items.
They also promote their 98 cent wings, even as COVID hit and certain food prices started to skyrocket. “We still have kept our 98 cent wings even when it cuts our pockets but we know our pockets aren’t the only ones being cut.”
As a solider, Lucas remarks on what COVID has meant for her business as a veteran –
“Our mission behind our businesses feels a little deeper. There’s a lot that has happened to get to this point. I’ve slept on grounds before, I’ve seen the ‘dirty’ and as a solider I think about things differently. I was ready to take on COVID.”
Lucas and her team love their customers and asks of the community to really support small business during these troubling times – “Even if you can’t come and purchase, please push our social media platforms. Just by sharing and giving people the knowledge on the street and in store. Word of mouth has gotten us to where we are, we appreciate the organic marketing. We just want our people to be able to work and support their families. We aren’t looking at turning a profit – we just want to pay our people.”
Luchals is open for take out/delivery at both their food truck and their storefront in COATI.
Meet the Photographer
Tina Joiner Photography
Tina Joiner with Tina Joiner Photography came to Colorado Springs after college to work at a nonprofit in town – Compassion International. She fell in love with her husband Darren and they have two small girls together. After awhile at Compassion, she pursued her creative dream of photography. Tina grew from on a handful of weddings to being the number one rated wedding photographer in Colorado Springs.
Since COVID hit, Joiner has taken a hit as the event and wedding industry has been in shambles following large event/wedding closures. Thankfully most of rescheduled but the wedding industry has taken a toll. Joiner has worked to pivot her business emphasizing elopements and smaller/outdoor gathers.
As a small business owner, she understands – “Small businesses are the heart of our community. It is important to shop at local small businesses to support the hopes and dreams of our friends and neighbors. I love that shopping local gives wings to those hopes and dreams. Small businesses give our community life.”