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Lucy's Grill & Bar closing its doors

By Erika Engle

LAST UPDATED: 11:36 p.m. HST, Aug 5, 2011

Lucy's Grill & Bar in Kailua served its last patrons Friday night after more than a decade in business.

"Our lease was up," said Kaleo Schneider, sister of owner Christian Schneider, who opened the restaurant in late 2000. It became the hip, happening place to be seen in Kailua town at the time.

The restaurant's lease expired in April and had been operating under Kaleo Schneider's supervision as Christian Schneider turned his attention to his catering business, she said.

The Kalaheo High School class of 1981 reunion had booked a large reservation for Friday night, "so we kept it open for them" and decided "to have a little party," with $3 and $5 drink specials, a disc jockey and some dancing, she said.

The restaurant employed a staff of 20.

The Schneiders are children of the family that founded Buzz's Original Steak House in Lanikai and Pearl City, and grew up in the business. Buzz's "is still going strong" at both locations, Schneider said.

The economy is still recovering slowly, observed Puna Nam, president of the Kailua Chamber of Commerce and co-owner of Cinnamon's Restaurant, a Lucy's neighbor. The pace of recovery is "slower than the costs are increasing."

Nam and his wife and business partner, Bonnie, were sad to learn of "one more business going down the tubes," she said.

President Barack Obama, his family and friends dined at Lucy's during Hawaii vacations.

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