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‘They saved our ass’: Bar Lucci attributes success to students

Cadie Pierce
Bartender Stephanie Pullella cuts limes in preparation for the daily opening at Bar Lucci on Nov. 18, 2023.

Bar Lucci, owned by brothers Peter and Jon Finley, has been a bar hop spot in downtown Kent for about a year and a half – but the bar hasn’t always been so popular. 

Jon Finley said he and his brother expected Bar Lucci to be a high-end cocktail bar with its modern interior. That changed when they realized college students would bring in a majority of their business. 

“We got the college kids to start coming in last October because we offered one-dollar drinks,” Finley said. “It kind of spread the word.” 

As students started to attend more frequently, the bar — which won third place in The Kent Stater’s “Best New Business” section of the 2023 Best of Kent rankings — became more of a casual spot for students to have fun. 

“The best part is that they saved our ass,” Finley said. “Without the college kids we wouldn’t be in business.” 

The bar holds interactive events throughout the year, like video game tournaments known as “Barfights,” open mic nights, live bands, Pride Month events and stand-up comedy shows. 

Finley said everyone who comes into the bar is “cool,” and he said he enjoys the atmosphere students bring in. 

“It’s nice to be around young people – it keeps me feeling young,” Finley said. “I’m learning all the terms that everybody uses now. You kind of feel like a father figure to some of the kids.”

The bartending brothers say they work to make all of their customers feel comfortable and safe. 

“I feel like the kids feel at home here,” Finley said. “Safe place for women, safe place for anybody, you know, that’s the kind of place we want to run.” 

As the holidays approach, the brothers plan to feature Christmas drinks and to have its second floor open. They said this will make the building, located at 257 N. Water St., become less crowded. 

Addressing students directly, Finley said the bar would not have the future it has today without their support. 

“We love you and thank you for everything you’ve done for not just this business, but all the businesses in town,” Finley said.

Savana Capp is general assignment editor. Contact her at [email protected]

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About the Contributors
Savana Capp, Print Planner
Savana is a sophomore journalism major with an English minor and the print planner for KentWired this semester. Previously, she was a reporter and general assignment editor. She enjoys writing about important things going on around campus and student life. In her free time, she loves reading, journaling and crocheting.
Contact her at [email protected]
Cadie Pierce, Photographer
Cadie Pierce (she/they) is a Senior Integrative Studies major and Photojournalism minor and staff photographer for KentWired/Kent Stater. Cadie can be reached at [email protected].

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