Just last month, La Pietra Cucina underwent a rebranding, becoming LPC. According to chef Russell Kook, the rebranding was more of a complete restaurant revamp. The dining room incurred "major changes" and the menu was overhauled, leaving only one item the same: the black spaghetti.
"La Pietra Cucina had a terrific reputation for good Italian cooking, but it was not the most successful," said Bob Amick, owner and founder of Concentrics Restaurants. "It was expensive, and it was one ugly space! It was awful, depressing. I was a huge fan of the food, but it wasn't a pleasant environment to have dinner. Plus, it had a 'no' environment and we're in a 'yes' business."
"La Pietra Cucina was fantastic, but also stuffy and pretentious," Kook added. "We wanted more approachable food in a place everyone feels comfortable, including those who don't know about fancy Italian food."
As a result, the menu now features pizzas, including margherita and spicy shrimp and squash; pastas, like the butternut squash piramide with ricotta salata and fried sage; and entrees like beef short rib with polenta. Price have dropped to an average of $22 per entree, and the wine and cocktail lists have been revamped as well.
The restaurant has been "opened up" to include more light and to infuse the dining room with the energy of the bar area. The velvet red walls and chandeliers are gone, and there's now a window so diners can see into the kitchen. An eclectic fixture with lights of different shapes and sizes hangs above the main dining room.
There's also better signage and diners don't have to walk all the way around the building to enter and exit. The patio will be renovated in time for spring as well.
As for the name change, Amick points out that diners would butcher "La Pietra Cucina" all the time. "LPC" is just a simpler, more casual way of saying the same thing.
Whatever it is, it's worked. Amick says business has doubled.