Luke’s On Front Review and photos by Kathy Zelasko
Looking for a new, trendy, upbeat restaurant? Check out Luke’s On Front. Four stories up, Luke’s offers open-air dining, an amazing view of the city, and American fusion fare. The atmosphere is both relaxed and inviting. The restaurant boasts a hip San Diego vibe blended with Temecula Valley flair and familiarity. Local art adorns the walls, the full bar boasts local wines and beer, and occasionally a musician entertains customers with live music. Private parties can be accommodated on the outside patio that includes a fire pit, or in the inside lounge that has a 103” projection screen.
to get back to the old-school way of serving,” Chris adds. “Luke’s is a place where our customers can sit back and watch a game, or sit on the balcony and enjoy the view.”
Owners Chris and Kelly Cusack, along with Kelly’s brother Ryan Klein, took on the challenge of an empty shell. With a strict budget and lots of hard work, the Cusack/Klein families have literally designed and built their restaurant from the bottom up, with little outside help. Even the Cusack’s two-year-old son, Finn, is part of the family business and is often seen popping in and out of the kitchen. The family chose the name “Luke’s” in memory of Chris and Kelly’s firstborn son who passed away as an infant. “We’ve spent many hours bringing our dream to completion,” says Chris. Kelly chimes in, “In fact, last Mother’s Day while other moms were out celebrating, we were here pouring our concrete bar. The bar was my Mother’s Day gift!” The Klein family, longtime members of the community, moved to Temecula when Kelly was just two-years-old. “My grandfather took us to the market that used to be where this building is,” Kelly says. “I remember riding our Go-Karts to buy milk there. Now I have a restaurant in the very spot that brings back those childhood memories!” Luke’s menu, created by local chef Neftali Torres, has something delectable for everyone. The scallop BLT is a delicious combination of fresh scallops wrapped in candied applewood bacon and micro greens, with sweet chili lime vinaigrette. Seared Ahi tacos and Larry’s BBQ meatloaf are favorites of many customers. A great gluten-free option is the Power Salad - baby spinach, grilled chicken, avocado, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, and goat cheese, with olive oil and honey mustard vinaigrette. Meat lovers will be delighted with the bone-in ribeye steak with au gratin potatoes. There are even scrumptious desserts to choose from, including white chocolate rum cheesecake and their famed Lemon Madness Cupcakes. The customer is the first priority at Luke’s. You often see Chris, Kelly and Ryan at the tables checking to make sure everything is perfect. “I’ve been in this business for over 20 years and my husband more than 28 years, so we know what works,” Kelly says, “but every day we still work to get better.”
Luke’s On Front is currently open for lunch and dinner. Plans are underway for a champagne Sunday brunch and catering for parties and events.
“We want everyone to feel welcome here and we believe that it’s time
28693 Old Town Front Street, Ste. 402, Temecula, 92590 · 951.699.9900