| Carolyn Noel
CHICOPEE – Remzi Gok has owned the iconic Lucky Strike restaurant since early 2020. Due to COVID-19, however, Gok has faced challenges during his first year as owner.
Lucky Strike was forced to shut down when COVID-19 cases initially began rising. Upon reopening, the restaurant began to offer takeout and curbside pickup. They are now open for indoor dining, though operating with the strict capacity limits set by Gov. Charlie Baker.
Gok is asking residents to help support his business as it tries to stay afloat during these unprecedented times.
Gok has been in the restaurant business since he was 16. Originally from Turkey, he now resides in Chicopee. Gok is the owner of the Easthampton Diner, along with a few other pizzerias in the area. His son owns Boston Bay Pizza.
Gok became the owner of Lucky Strike on Feb. 2, 2020. Lucky Strike had previously been a well-known family-run business, though Gok said he did not personally know the owners. Upon purchasing the restaurant from its previous owners, he said he operated successfully for about six weeks before disaster forced him to close his doors.
“When I took over last year, I ran only six weeks. Right after I took over, we were doing very well and then the pandemic hit,” he said. “Right now the pandemic is hurting us a lot.”
Gok had to make some staff cutbacks and rethink how to operate under the limited capacity, he said. To help bring in new customers, he has made some changes to the menu and restaurant.
“We have a lot of new items. We have a lot of pasta dishes now and we also have a variety of breakfast. We serve breakfast all day now,” he said.
Lucky Strike posts new specials on their Facebook page weekly. Examples of some specials include items such as shepherd's pie, American chop suey, quesadillas, stews, a fisherman’s wrap and more.
Gok has also made some cosmetic changes to the restaurant and built a new bar after he became owner.
Lucky Strike is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. They are located at 703 Grattan St.
Those interested in learning more about the restaurant or seeing their weekly specials are encouraged to visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/luckystrikerestaurant/.