Exterior Description: Little Italian Restaurant
Casa Luca is a small Italian restaurant located on the corner of 11th Street and I Street in the North-Western quadrant of Washington, D.C.. The local gathering point is situated right down the street from Franklin Square and is a short walk from the White House’s north lawn. Surviving several years of development, the surrounding area has seen substantial change over the years, as local mom-and-pop businesses have transitioned into shopping for D.C.’s upper-class, banks, and swanky enterprises marketed towards downtown’s young working population. While the surrounding area has seen development over the years, the small Italian restaurant has endured, out-surviving many of the businesses that had once composed the nearby area.
When first approaching Casa Lucca, one might notice the bustling streets, as New York Avenue sits directly in front of the restaurant. Located in a frequented area of Downtown, the restaurant is one of several businesses that many pass everyday without realization. Historically, the region was almost exclusively corporate, with the exception of several D.C. attractions like Ford’s Theatre and the International Spy Museum. Composed of office-appearing buildings of varying styles, the region has seen significant development over time, as older office buildings have transformed into hotels like the Embassy Suites and The Kimpton Palomar Hotel. The block in which Casa Lucca is located on, once composed of offices for several D.C.-based corporations, is now made up of an interior design boutique, Momofuku Milk Bar, and a Tesla dealership. This diverse selection of businesses points to the area’s transformation over time, as the region has experienced significant development over the years. This development is equally evident when reviewing the demographics of the area, as the region is frequented by college students, politicians, visiting tourists, and working locals. While visiting the region, I noticed the fast-pace aura of the neighborhood, taking in the different sounds and faces of New York Avenue. Though undergoing change, the restaurant has stayed true to its original identity, continuing to serve the people of the city through the years.
While the area surrounding the little Italian restaurant on the corner of 11th Street and I Street has experienced significant development over the years, Casa Lucca has survived, adding a sense of vibrancy to this diverse section of the Capital. Though the neighborhood has undergone serious changes, Casa Lucca remains to serve the Downtown area of D.C., influencing the surrounding area for the better. In conclusion, the small restaurant that had once served as a meeting location for Jeff and Lou, in Ruben Castaneda’s S Street Rising, lives on to this day, serving the capital daily.