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María Blázquez, Lucio’s daughter: “My father’s eggs are very famous worldwide”

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Casa Lucio opens in November 1974. Since that year, it has the same layout, with a wooden bar on the left, as you enter the premises through the mythical door with yellow glass. “Can I have some wine?” María asks the person in charge of the legendary counter, always very crowded. “Boss“, he answers from inside, “white or green?”, and adds the question of the day, “will you want cooked?”, because today is Wednesday, yesterday I would have asked about the fabada and tomorrow about the beans with pheasant.

In this fabulous bar, time stops when you take a bite: there are two people who, no exaggeration, have been sitting there since the seventies. Then there is a huge commotion with three lines that mix: people waiting, entering and leaving because “in this globalized world, there are those who eat at 5 p.m. and those who have dinner at 4 p.m.,” María explains jokingly.

She laughs, but she herself has to be careful not to rush her entrance because there is tension to get a table and it is important to make it clear that one is going to the bar. As long as she’s still standing waiting, the trick is ask for a reservation for the dishes of the day, like the one who sends the letter to the kings.

Kings and presidents of the Government precisely – even all the Spanish presidents together once, as a photo shows -, and many members of international royalty, Hollywood and blue blood, “everyone has wanted to come here to eat and they usually come back”explains his daughter. She is the director along with her brothers, Javier and Fernando, of this business in which around thirty people work and which is now a hospitality group – Landó or La tavern de los ojos de Lucio -.

All these celebrities are acolytes and many other anonymous people too: a crowd of fans to eat the famous eggs, shrimp and lost bread…

María del Mar García, was Lucio’s wife for 59 years. She passed away in February 2020.

My oldest memory?”says María while she drinks her green wine and eats some round shrimp floating in a clay pot. “When my mother brought us to the restaurant. She drank coffee, she was an impressive woman, I miss her a lot. We were here up on this bar messing around. And one day, I remember, my brother Javier changed sugar for salt.”

Lively gastro pranks and the count of hundreds, thousands of family friends, mark the childhood of María and her two brothers. Her father had arrived in Madrid very young from Serranillos (Ávila), a town with 200 inhabitants, “to make a living. This . It was also easy for us, because we didn’t have rent, we were closed but not because we did it wrong, but waiting to open to continue giving our best.

Lucio’s table… and his fans

In this temple of Madrid traditionalism they hang from the wall popular jokes and messages, Which can be summed up in that the important thing is what is put on top of the plate and inside the glasses. María has a special memory for the women who have been her role models, but also for the men: “My mother, of course. Of the women I have been able to meet here, I am a fan of Penelopewho is international like Lucio, and if there is someone who fascinates me, it is Isabel Preysler, so funny. And I have many male friends, and two brothers and a father who I admire a lot.”

We approach Lucio’s table. The architect of the place sits there controlling who enters and who leaves. He recently overcame Covid and smiles all the time, with enviable vitality. During the time the interview lasts, at least twenty people greet him and take photographs with him.

What is your secret, to copy it?

One word, work, never stop working.

You are one of the greatest public relations in this country.

I am amazed myself. The oldest even.

“Dad, there will be some more,” his daughter tells him. “Yeah, Don Juan Carlos“, Lucio responds with some mischief. Dad, isn’t it true that people went where you went? We say that you are an influencer, adds María. “I made many other businesses famous. But I’ve accomplished something huge, you know? I have fifty million public relations, in eighty years I have achieved it,” he responds.

He interrupts again a group of diners who are leaving, festive, compensated, happy, and they ask him for a photograph.

– Where do they come from? – asks Lucio.

– From Mexico and the Dominican Republic, we came twenty years ago, and it’s still just as good! – they respond.

“See?” says Lucio, turning, “they come from all over the world”, and one of his companions makes the joke that he should be called lucid instead of Lucio. Her daughter Maria looks at him, and she smiles, and goes up to the bar to organize something, something from a table that she wants a dish that they once had, a long time ago, but they don’t remember what it’s called.

“Have you eaten well?” Lucio asks the group with a big smile, guessing the answer.

Delicious– they respond in unison.

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