After years of missed deadlines, the final component of the Liacouras Walk commercial strip may soon be in place, according to Temple University officials.
A new Italian restaurant, Luciano’s Bar and Grill, will be opening in March in the vacant space across from 7-Eleven, said Associate Vice President of Business Services Richard Rumer.
“The construction has taken longer than we’ve expected due to the fact that the builders have had to wait on materials,” said Rumer.
“We wanted to have it open for the students at the beginning of spring semester, but whenever it opens I’m sure it will be a success.”
Construction began in late fall and to date the dry wall, bar area and restrooms have been completed.
Electrical and flooring work remains before the restaurant is ready to open.
The restaurant, named after owner Luciano Lambertini, will fill the void between the 7-Eleven and Campus Cleaners.
This project, which is the last in the redevelopment of Liacouras Walk, will add to the mixed-use retail establishments, restaurants, offices, apartments and bed-and-breakfast at the heart of Main Campus.
The restaurant was placed on Liacouras Walk by Campus Walk LP, which owns and leases the properties on Liacouras Walk.
After meeting with several businesses, they settled with Luciano’s because it was in keeping with the Italian theme that they wanted for the restaurant placed there.
Campus Walk LP originally wanted to put a Pizza Hut in the vacant shop, but due to financial problems with Pizza Hut, that project was discontinued.
After seeking out several other Italian spots, they settled with Luciano’s.
The restaurant, which is described as upscale, but affordable, conducted price studies in order to price their food accordingly.
It will cater to students and the community as well as serve as a place to dine for guests staying at the Conwell Inn. It will accept Diamond Dollars and offer pizza delivery to the dorms.
Although the restaurant is not yet complete, staff training sessions have begun.
“We started training new staff last month in preparation for the opening of the new restaurant, so hopefully everything will be in place for the opening in a few months,” said the assistant manager of The Blue Gill, another restaurant in the Lambertini franchise.
Due to its enclosed location, many students were not aware that there was an addition to the variety of stores on Liacouras Walk.
“I thought the Liacouras Walk project was complete,” said Junior Jameelah Williams.
“Although I will be leaving next year, I will still take advantage of it. It’s good to know there will be somewhere good to eat that accepts Diamond Dollars.”
The Lambertini franchise group has 20 affiliate locations throughout the Delaware Valley.
Jennifer West can be reached at email@example.com.