Our concept started out on Historic Fourth Street in Sioux City, Iowa in April of 1995 as the Victorian Opera Company. Luciano's was born next door to the Victorian Opera Company in June of 1996. In the Spring of 2008 our upscale martini bar Badda Bing opened in the former Victorian Opera Company location, as part of owners Ray and Kathleen Hoffmann's plan to expand the Italian restaurant, Luciano's. As Luciano's and Badda Bing took over the former Victorian Opera Company space- Uncorked moved into the space that had been Luciano's since 1996. Uncorked is our ever-evolving wine shop with plenty of space for upscale private dining events.
The couple renovated the interior of the Victorian Opera Company building, and moved Luciano's to the eastern half of the Victorian Opera space. The west side was transformed into Sioux City's first martini bar "Badda Bing". The couple also opened a wine shop "Uncorked" in the front section of the current Luciano's, and put a private dining room in the rear of that space."It's going to be a totally new look for us," Kathleen said.
Contractors began work in August of 2008 on the renovations, which included revamping the kitchen and restrooms. The Hoffmann's managed to keep the restaurant open during construction.
Kathleen said the couple considered moving the Italian restaurant to another part of town, but decided to stay in the Historic Fourth district, where they lease their space from Aalfs.
"We like the building," she said. "This is the place where people are used to seeing us."
The next-door move and renovations increased Luciano's total seating, Ray said. Booths were installed, giving dinner guests greater privacy.
The adjacent martini bar also provides an intimate setting for guests to relax and enjoy a drink. Kathleen said a number of local residents have been asking for a quiet atmosphere to socialize after getting off work. Most other Historic Fourth bars are known for late-night noisy crowds and music.
Customers at the Hoffmanns' new bar will have their pick of dozens of different martinis, as well as wine and other liquors, while lounging on leather sofas and chairs. Ray and Kathleen, who personally don't drink, noted coffee and soft drinks also would be offered, as well as a large assortment of appetizers.
"It's going to be a special place," Ray said.
Hoffmann, 69, grew up in Germany and came to the United states when he was 15, a few years after World War II ended.