He’s brought the Gold Coast two of it’s favourite American-style eateries, Easy Street and Luckies Diners and now, along with wife Erin, he’s about to launch a third venue.
We chat with Lucas about tacocat, the traditional Mexican restaurant opening in a Burleigh alleyway later this month.
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I’ve been here five years, I’m Tasmanian, my parents are Austrian but they moved to Tasmania about 30 years ago. My wife Erin is pretty much a Gold Coaster. She’s been here about 25 years or so and her family is here.
What do you love most about living here?
The weather, so much better than Tasmania. I’ve been here a few years and owning the restaurants, just knowing so many cool people, it’s such an easygoing place. There’s no rat race like Melbourne or Sydney, it’s just a bit more casual and chilled out.
You’re about to open tacocat in Burleigh, can you tell me a bit about it?
Where it’s going is like a garage and even though I say I don’t like being in Melbourne and Sydney, I do like the laneway vibes of Melbourne and the alleyway it’s going into is awesome. I wanted it before I knew what to do there. The space came up and I realized there was no great Mexican food in Burleigh. It’s my favourite part of the Gold Coast so I thought I could probably make tacos. I’m possible going to try and open one of every restaurant flavour-wise. Maybe I’ll do Italian or Japanese next, I don’t know.
What’s going to be unique about it?
I want to do traditional Mexican food, Mexico City type food. Not Californian or Tex Mex style, just pretty traditional but in a modern way.
What’s your background with food?
I’ve been a Chef my whole working life, about 15 years. I travelled and worked overseas, bummed around and snow boarded. I’ve been a delivery driver for a catering company all the way up to working in the best restaurants in Australia. So I’ve done pretty much everything.
You started with Nola at Blackboard Coffee, how did Easy Street Diner come about?
We were doing Nola, which was Southern food, and we opened Easy Street because we didn’t want to only do food from New Orleans. We thought maybe it was a little bit too specific. We decided to do American food and then all of a sudden the hamburgers were just delicious and started being the main part of Easy Street. Bit of a fluke really.
What’s your favourite thing about being in the restaurant biz?
When I was young I used to say I would never have a restaurant. Why would I ever want a restaurant? I would tell my mother she was crazy for thinking I should buy one. Like I said, once I’d worked around a bit and didn’t get along with a few owners, I thought I could do some things a bit better. Owning your own business is awesome, you can do whatever you want, my favourite part is not having to fill out timesheets. I love hanging out with the people I work with, trying to make everyone happy and giving the Gold Coast stuff I think it needs and that they’d like.
You also opened Luckies Diner at The Collective, why did you want to be part of that concept?
I thought Jeremy (owner) was going to do an amazing thing with that place, which he did. I thought it was a great way for heaps of different customers to eat our food, which they are, and just the whole thing about hanging out on the Gold Coast and making it better. The Collective is bloody amazing.
Have you got anything else exciting in the works?
I think I’ll just work on tacocat for a bit and hang out with our new baby. I always think about the next thing before the first thing is done but like I said maybe an Italian restaurant, you never know.
Favourite piece of life advice…
Enjoy the moment.
Being a local, we have to ask for your favourites…
Beach…Can’t really go past Burleigh because there’s people watching, restaurants, you can have a beer, it’s probably one of the greatest beaches in the world I reckon
Café…Blackboard Coffee is delicious
Restaurant…There’s so many on the Coast at the moment. I love Jimmy Wah’s
Weekend hang…Just going out for lunch, hanging out on Burleigh Hill at the moment. Sounds the same as everyone, do something crazy, take the jet ski out or jump off something high.