Lucio’s: Food, Art and Friendship

Art, Paintings
Lucio's owner in a white shirt with a glass of red wine in front of a sunflower yellow wall with painted plate art
Photograph: Supplied/Lucio's

Time Out says

Farewell Paddington legend Lucio's by taking a tasty slice of their fabulous art collection home with you

With the sad news that Paddington favourite Lucio’s is not long for this world, the only thing we’re dreading losing more than the handmade pasta and salt-baked fish is the luminous art collection that adorns the beloved Italian venue’s sunflower yellow walls.

This long-standing institution will be sorely missed, but the good news is that if you feel like forking out, you can feast on a slice of Lucio’s at home forevermore thanks to an auction of the restaurants famous art collection. Hosted by Bonhams on March 21, one month after the final service at the end of January, Lucio’s: Food, Art and Friendship, will allow you to bid on some 200 works collected over the restaurant’s almost 40 year run. What better way to celebrate Lucio and Sally Galletto’s contribution to Sydney’s culinary and art scenes?

Opening in Balmain in 1981 before relocating to its current spot a mere two years later, replacing the Hungry Horse Art Gallery and Restaurant, it’s been a stalwart of the scene ever since. Attracting everyone from artists to politicians, celebrities to everyday Sydneysiders, even if you were eating alone, oil paintings of friends sharing bread helped you feel like you were part of the party. The beautiful collection – including statues, portraits, painted plates and even adorned napkins – takes in works by celebrated names in Australian art like Olsen, Nolan (Sidney Nolan sketched Ned Kelly on a docket in 1984), Cummings and Storrier, and features likenesses of ever-cheery host Lucio Galletto himself.

As Lucio says, “Food and art for me is like the air that I breathe. I grew up in the family restaurant in Italy where we had an art gallery, so it has always been in my blood. It is very important for me personally and also I think for our customers as well. The combination of great food, great service and great art on the walls is, in my view, one of the best dining experiences you can imagine.”

You can find out more about the auction, which will be simulcast in Bonhams’ Melbourne outpost in Armadale, here, with the catalogue forthcoming. Pappardelle is a fleeting pleasure, but art last forever.

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