Pizza Lucé

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Pizza Lucé
Industry Pizzeria
Founder Joe Baier
Number of locations

Pizza Lucé (/ˈl/) is a pizzeria restaurant company in Minnesota with locations in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area and Duluth. Pizza Lucé was founded in 1993.


A medium pizza covered in vegetables on a wooden table
One of the restaurant's vegan pizzas

Pizza Lucé owner Joe Baier worked in pizza delivery until the pizzeria he worked at closed in 1992. Having worked for years in the industry, Baier decided to open a new pizza restaurant, named Pizza Lucé, which opened in 1993 in downtown Minneapolis. It was not initially profitable and in 1995, Scott Nelson, who had worked previously alongside Baier as a pizza deliverer, was hired as the pizzeria's General Manager helped ensure that the restaurant became profitable.[1] The pizzeria includes gluten-free and vegan items on its menu.[2]

Pizza Lucé has since expanded to seven locations in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area and one in Duluth.[3] In 2010, the pizzeria began offering online ordering and within a year over 20% of its delivery orders were placed via the Internet.[4] Lucé was named 2011's Restaurant of the Year by the Minnesota Restaurant Association.[5]


Pizza Lucé is noted for allowing employees to have visible tattoos and body piercings, contrary to the policies of other employers in the area. Its employee handbooks states, "Pizza Lucé encourages freedom of expression and therefore has few restrictions about hair styles, piercings, and tattoos."[1]

In August 1999, it was reported that all 70 employees had some sort of "body art". Scott Nelson, owner of the Pizza Lucé in downtown Minneapolis, commented, "Everyone who works here has a tattoo or piercings, and I find them to be more loyal to you. I've had 'straight' workers, and they don't last very long. I'm letting them express themselves, and I get it back tenfold."[6]

Due to Pizza Lucé's practice of allowing workers to return to their jobs after touring with their bands, their employees have included band members from groups such as Cadillac Blindside and Clair De Lune as well as Jesse Johnson and Joshua Cain from Motion City Soundtrack.[7]

Since 2003, Pizza Lucé has hosted an annual block party in Minneapolis on the corner of Lyndale Avenue and 32nd Street featuring artists such as Brother Ali and P.O.S.[8] The 2012 block party was cancelled and the organizers are seeking a larger venue for future years.[9][10] In 2013, the block party was moved to the Downtown Minneapolis warehouse district location.


  1. ^ a b Pizza Lucé Employee's Handbook (PDF). Pizza Lucé. 2010. pp. 3, 17. 
  2. ^ "Pizza Lucé". Pizza Today. 27 (7-12): 64–65. 2009. 
  3. ^ Lawler, Christa (January 22, 2009). "Luce's Pesto Benedict is dripping with happiness". Duluth News Tribune. 
  4. ^ Butler, Cherryh A. (July 14, 2011). "Small chains get online with online ordering". Pizza Marketplace. 
  5. ^ "Top 100 Movers & Shakers, No. 55: Pizza Luce". Pizza Marketplace. October 10, 2012. 
  6. ^ Tevlin, Jon (August 6, 1999). "Body art uninspiring in today's job market; The trend is prompting employers to set appearance guidelines". Star Tribune. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  7. ^ Simon, Leslie (2009). Wish You Were Here: An Essential Guide to Your Favorite Music Scenes—from Punk to Indie and Everything in Between (1st ed.). New York: Harper. pp. 235–236. ISBN 978-0-06-157371-2. 
  8. ^ Swensson, Andrea (August 10, 2011). "Pizza Luce Block Party 2011 set times". City Pages. 
  9. ^ Swensson, Andrea (April 12, 2012). "Pizza Luce Block Party canceled for 2012.". 89.3 The Current. 
  10. ^ "Pizza Lucé Block Party Cancelled, Looking For New Locale". CBS Minnesota. April 13, 2012. 

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