Galen Juracek purchased Mr. Lucky's Fine Sandwiches at 711 East Sixth Avenue two years ago and immediately realized one thing needed to change: He started roasting beef, turkey and pork in-house as well as making meatballs from scratch. Longtime customers of the twenty-year-old sandwich shop noticed the difference, and word soon spread to the neighborhood that the menu was looking up.
"You can go to a chain place and get processed meats all day long," Juracek explains. "But I didn't get into this just to half-ass it."
And now that the owner has improved the quality at the original Mr. Lucky's, he's taking aim at a new neighborhood. Juracek recently took over the lease of the now-closed Fat Jack's Subs at 3326 Tejon Street in LoHi and will open a second Mr. Lucky's there in the coming weeks.
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Juracek came from the management side of the service industry, running the restaurant at the Lakewood Country Club, so his focus is on customer service as well as quality sandwiches. "We don't have a chef here," he says of Mr. Lucky's. "We like to slot ourselves in between chef-driven and the chains. What's important is caring about ingredients and caring about the way you talk to customers."
The new location is in the midst of some minor changes inside, including new paint and art, but most of the kitchen didn't need much change, since it was built for making sandwiches. Juracek says he had to add a small oven since Mr. Lucky's serves hot sandwiches, but otherwise, most of the time spent getting the place open has been spent on the lease itself and getting permits and licenses. Now it's just a matter of hiring staff and waiting for the final inspection from the city.
In addition to opening the new location, Juracek plans to continue improvements at the Sixth Avenue shop. He's already removed the drop ceiling above the order counter to open the space up, and is in the process of repainting the dining area. He'd also like to add a liquor license and a small bar. Right now the shop closes at 6 p.m., but he plans to keep the LoHi shop open through dinner and would like to do the same for his Alamo Placita neighbors.