Lusco’s Restaurant can trace it provenance to the turn of the 20th Century when Charles and Marie Lusco immigrated to the United States from Cefalu, Sicily. They brought with them their son, Sam, and two daughers, Sara and Mary. They entered the U.S. in New Orleans and settled in Glencoe, Louisiana. Their youngest daughter Marie was born in 1904 and carried the distinction of being the only one who was a natural born citizen. They lived in Louisiana for many years before migrating to Greenwood. Charles brought his family to the Mississippi Delta to join several of his brothers who had settled here. This is significant because all of this family’s recipes have the Italian and Louisiana influence, and explains why Lusco’s has always been known for its fresh seafood, poultry, and steaks. Food was an integral part of their lives, whether a family meal or a big celebration, and only the best food was allowed. This accounts for their dedication to give their customers the most outstanding food in town.
Lusco’s began in 1921 as a grocery store and small menu restaurant. It was located at the corner of Johnson and Walthall Street with Charles and Marie Lusco as proprietors. Their three daughters helped Mama Lusco in the kitchen while Papa Lusco peddled his wares, goods, and food in a horse-drawn “rolling store” to all the nearby plantations. The original location was destroyed by fire in 1929. For several years Lusco’s was in limbo because the three daughters, Sara Gory, Marie Correro, and Mary Portero were married and very busy with their husbands and children. Tragedy struck when Mrs. Gory’s 13 year old daughter, Margaret, died of polio and compounded several months later when her husband, James Milton Gory, a fireman, died of a heart attack. A widow left to raise three children to care for, Mrs. Gory resorted to the only thing she knew how to do--cook. She purchased the building at 722 Carrollton Avenue, which included a complex of two buildings. One side of the building housed a pharmacy, and the other side became the home of Lusco’s. Today’s Lusco’s was reborn on March 4, 1933 as a grocery store in the front, with privately-partitioned booths in the rear for dining. In the midst of Prohibition, Papa’s homebrew was the magnet, making Lusco’s a gathering place for the local gentry. The food prepared by Mrs. Gory, her two sisters and Mama Lusco was an added attraction that was soon to become the principal lure because it was so good. During World War II, several military bases were located around the Greenwood area with trains carrying the soldiers across the country stopping on the C&G tracks directly across the street from Lusco’s. The soldiers frequented Lusco’s and during this period, the reputation for atmosphere and fine food began by word-of-mouth as the soldiers and airmen traveled across the country. After the war, they often met their fellow veterans here for a reunion and some still visit us today, though their numbers have understandably diminished over time. The reputation of Lusco’s, spread by these servicemen, has brought us many visitors from far and wide.
Lusco’s grew in size and reputation when cotton was king and the good years brought prosperity to everyone in the Delta. The pharmacy in the adjoining building closed and more privately partitioned booths were added to accommodate the restaurant’s growing clientele. Lusco’s was the restaurant where Deltans (planters, cotton factors, and local businessmen) dined and where they entertained their special guests and friends. The privately partitioned and curtained booths along with the excellant food became the primary attraction at Lusco’s. These patrons, their children, their grandchildren, and their friends made dining at Lusco’s a tradition and they have helped to keep Lusco’s thriving all these years.
Lusco’s Restaurant has changed very little from its early days. It remained in operation under the three Lusco sisters until October 1, 1976. It was then passed on to the the third generation, Sara Gory Pinkston, and the fourth generation, Andy Pinkston. Since October 1, 1981, Lusco’s has continued operation under the sole management of the fourth generation, Andy Pinkston and his wife, Karen Pinkston. Their son, Drew Pinkston, the fifth generation joined Lusco’s on June 1, 2008. Their daughter, Sara Pinkston, also a fifth generation Lusco, joined Lusco’s in November 2011.
As a family-owned and family-run business, we, the present operators, are committed to continuing the Lusco’s tradition for unique atmosphere and fine food. Our goal is to keep this restaurant in the mainstream of Delta Life and to meet the future with very little change in this rapidly changing world, making it unique and historically significant. As GQ exclaimed, “this is the place: a gastronomic reliquary so revered that it would be a sacrilege to alter even the smallest detail!” And we haven’t. We try very hard to keep it “real”. We also pride ourselves in always giving our customers the best in food and service. Maintaining Lusco’s reputation for good food is our passion and supreme priority!