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New restaurant cooks up homegrown Italian recipes

Hoping to fittingly open on Columbus Day, Oct. 12, since Christopher Columbus was an Italian, Lucca’s Restaurant will be at 1801 E. Sherman Ave. The 44-seat location most recently was My Place Restaurant.

The lunch menu will include appetizers, soups, sandwiches and desserts, with main items ranging from $6-$9. The dinner menu will expand to include pastas, steaks, chops and fish, all with an Italian flair. Beverages will include beer and wine.

Originally from San Francisco and Wheaton, Ill., respectively, owners Greg and Nancy Grasseschi came to North Idaho in 2007 from Modesto, Calif. With Italian food backgrounds, most of their items originate from basic family recipes.

They hoped to open Lucca’s, named after the Grasseschi hometown in Northern Italy, several weeks ago but the plans literally were tabled because of a delay receiving their tables. The place has an Italian décor with a low ceiling for acoustics. With 12 employees, hours will be 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for lunch and 5 to 9 p.m. for dinner.

Thomas Hammer Coffee in Hayden

An early November opening is planned for Thomas Hammer Coffee Roasters in Suite A of the new building at 8160 Cornerstone Drive in Hayden. The 1,500-square-foot location will have a drive-through and will seat 24 customers inside at tables and on sofas and others on a patio.

The shop will offer freshly roasted coffee and espresso, blended drinks, scratch-baked pastries, breakfast burritos and frittatas, Hammer logo items and coffee brewing equipment.

Thomas Hammer Coffee Roasters began in 1993 and is locally owned with nine current stores and kiosks in Spokane, Boise and Post Falls. It also offers coffee and espresso supplies to several coffee outlets in the Northwest.

With eight employees, the Hayden store will have tentative hours of 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Visit

Midtown Motorworks to move, expand

Expanding to four work bays, Midtown Motorworks will move from 1710 N. Fourth St. to 1008 N. Fourth when renovations to the former Ray’s Chevron building are complete in April. The company offers everything in vehicle and boat mechanics and upholstery.

Business owners Scott Anderson and Tim McIntosh have a combined nearly 40 years of mechanic experience, with help from employee Guy Butterfield. From Santa Cruz and San Diego respectively, Anderson and McIntosh joined relatives in North Idaho several years ago. They started Midtown Motorworks in 2008.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. Call (208) 667-9800. Their website is under construction.

This week’s tidbits

• Kevin and Kristi Kotoski are new owners of the Watches By Gosh store in the Resort Shopping Plaza in downtown Coeur d’Alene. They sell and repair watches and clocks and also sell sunglasses. Call (208) 667-3305. They also own the Yellowstone Watch store in Post Falls.

• It’s interesting that a traffic light is being installed at the entry to Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy on Kathleen Avenue but a few blocks away there’s not even a crosswalk from Ramsey Elementary to the athletic fields across the street. A city councilman says one won’t happen. Maybe it will after a kid is injured.

• Major renovations are occurring and new occupants are planned for the Bank of America building at 401 Front Ave. The spaces have Lake Coeur d’Alene views. Call Parkwood Business Properties at (208) 667-4086.

Contact Nils Rosdahl at (208) 769-3228 or

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