Lucca Ravioli Is Gone. What’s Left of Italian Culture in the Mission Now?

May 08, 2019 220

BY: Lea Ceasrine

It’s official. Last week, beloved Lucca Ravioli Company closed shop in the Mission District, breaking the hearts of customers and lovers of all things Italian in San Francisco. Since 1925, the little shop had been selling imported wines, cheeses, cold cuts, olive oils, pastas and more. But more than that, it had served as a landmark, preserving what was left of the Italian community in the Mission District.

With Lucca’s departure, we aren’t just losing out on delicious homemade marinara sauce or fresh manicotti; we’re also saying goodbye to the remnants of Italian culture and food shops in a neighborhood where they once thrived. “There used to be quite a population of Italian Americans here,” said Michael Feno, the heir of Lucca, who’s been working at the family-owned business since 1966. At just 11 years old, Feno started chipping in and sweeping the floors. When his father passed away in 1987, he inherited the shop; it had been passed down through the family over the years, starting with his great-uncle Francesco, who migrated to San Francisco in 1921 and opened Lucca the next year.

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