Sydney Stroup, owner of Lechuga's at 3609 Tejon Street, isn't content to wait for inevitable gentrification to sweep her old-school eatery into the heap of lost northside restaurants. Instead, since taking over from Chuck Lechuga and Rachel Vigil in 2014, she's been extending the Lechuga's brand. First she added a kiosk on the 16th Street Mall in 2015 — and now comes a second Lechuga's restaurant, which opens today at 7475 West Colfax Avenue in Lakewood.
The new Lechuga's will be a clone of the original, at least in terms of the menu and prices. So westside residents will be able to score meatball canolis, Little Devils, square pizzas and buckets of takeout pasta. The big difference will be the strip-mall location facing a Walmart, but with plenty of traffic coming from Colfax and Wadsworth Boulevard — that, and the counter-service model instead of full-table service.
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Doubling down is a reasonable strategy for older restaurants in hot real-estate neighborhoods; even if the original location gets bought out, the food will live on for regular customers. Not that we expect Lechuga's to vanish any time soon in LoHi, but Lakewood Little Devils are better than no Little Devils at all. Get yours starting at 11 a.m. today and thereafter from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day but Sunday, when the new Lechuga's will close at 6 p.m.