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Our Story

Lucille Sarah Mirabella was born in Fayetteville, N.C., on March 8, 1922. She was the daughter of Sir Reginald Theodore Mirabella, a decorated Three Star General who was instrumental in ushering through the treaty of Versailles. Reginald served at Fort Bragg after his return from the Great War in 1919. Growing up with such a dad, Lucille was no stranger to fireside stories of patriotism, pride, and heroes.

When 1940 rolled around and the world was on the brink of a Second World War, Lucille was dating a young man named James Earl Davis, a GI in the 82nd Airborne Battalion stationed at Fort Bragg. Soon after her man left for the fight of his life in Europe, Lucille took up employment at the North Carolina Maritime Shipbuilding Company in Wilmington, N.C. This is where Lucille gained independence, working days at the shipyard while restlessly awaiting James's return from the war. Frequently, Lucille would organize "war room" nights where all the ladies of the neighborhood would gather to read letters from Europe and Asia, knit blankets, and make batches of jellies, jams, sauces to send to their boys. Lucille's friends soon discovered her knack for comfort meals and good southern-style cuisine. When James's letter came back stating, "Lucille, the boys believe your BBQ sauce could be used in peace-making negotiations!" all the neighbors agreed. Perhaps her independence didn't sit well with her folks back in Fayetteville, but they were proud of the hard-working, young patrior she had become.

In the winter of 1945, the war was winding down and Lucille was missing the comfort of her family and friends back home in Fayetteville. With no sure return date set for James, Lucille moved back home and started a small neighborhood cafe. Serving her mom's classic recipes and her newly-learned cooking secrets from the "war room" nights, Lucille marveled as her cafe soon became a beacon of all that was comforting to the waves of soldiers returning home form the war. When James came back in later 1946, he married his sweetheart and together they worked the cafe. Through the 1950s they developed countless recipes and traditional dinner fare. Three kids later, James and Lucille had formed a thriving business guarding their secret recipes and cooking methods. They passed down their secret recipes from generation to generation. In 1999, those same guarded recipes were passed down to the owners of Lucille's American Cafe in Weston and hence, the American tradition was reborn! Today we uphold the same ideals that Lucille lived and believed in back in the 1940s: great food and friendly service for a fair price. If only Lucille was here to see us today!

Lucille's American Cafe
vintage photo of two children
vintage photo of male and female sitting in a car smiling
vintage photo of two couples having a picnic

The Restaurant Today

Lucille's American Cafe is a 1940s- style upscale diner that captures the "luncheonette" feel of that era's most popular eateries, but seasons it with a dash of 21st-Century finesse. It is conceived as a comfortable neighborhood respite from the home kitchen. Homemade food, served in a stylish but casual atmosphere, with large portions and value pricing make it particularly attractive to families with children as well as couples and singles. Take-out and delivery service, as well as catering, are available and just a phone call away.

The interior design of Lucille's evokes nostalgia while inviting guests to relax and have fun. You'll experience memories of decades past, with vintage photos of "Lucille," the fanciful lady who is the inspiration for the restaurant found everywhere: Lucille at the beach, Lucille sipping a fountain soda, Lucille riding in a classic convertible and Lucille with her many friends and admirers.

Old-fashioned oscillating fans are hung on the walls over the dining room. Liberal use of dark wood, ceramic tile, chrome, leatherette, fabric, mirrors, bullet- shaped hanging light fixtures and wall sconces contribute to the feeling of authenticity. The predominant colors are seafoam green, black, taupe and ivory, selected for a 1940s palette. They complement the interior design and are lively, but easy on the eyes.

Seating is provided in booths or free standing tables. The chairs are framed in chrome, like those found in a typical family kitchen in the 1940s, and finished in black leatherette. The booths are upholstered in a combination of seafoam green and black. Also offered are patio tables that overlook a vast lake, the perfect atmosphere on a brisk day.

Owners Paul & Beth Nunez believe that high quality food and friendly service will keep guests coming to Lucille's. The philosophy is simple: Do everything possible to exceed guests' expectations in food, service and atmosphere. Lucille's wants guests to feel good enough about their dining experience that they would tell others of their experience.