“Warring Italians — Fierce Fight — Lucca’s Barroom Wrecked.”
For The Madera Tribune
Under-Sheriff John Hensley had his hands full at the Lucca Hotel in 1904.
Long before Lucca’s Restaurant opened its doors in Madera, there was another Madera business that was also named after that well-known Italian province. The Lucca House, a hotel on the corner of what is now Gateway Drive and 6th Street, predated Lucca’s Restaurant by 35 years.
In the daytime, the Lucca House, which was operated by Luigi Simi, looked peaceful enough, but at night, the place sometimes turned into a veritable war zone.
We have noted in an earlier story how, in 1902, there was a shootout between the owner of the hotel and several inebriated Madera revelers. Bullets flew in every direction as Simi and his wife exchanged fire with a raucous mob that was intent on causing trouble in front of their hostel. Fortunately, no one was hit, and the fracas was settled in Madera’s justice court.