By Angela Carella
The Stamford Advocate, Conn.
Lucy Loglisci’s story would not be remarkable if it had not happened when it did.
She ran a successful restaurant in downtown Stamford, but she did it in the 1950s, when few women worked outside the home, let alone became entrepreneurs.
It wasn’t her only obstacle. Lucy was an Italian immigrant who had never written a check and, as she would say, couldn’t count change without using her fingers.
Yet her business brought her family out of poverty, and her restaurant became a hangout for celebrities of the day.
Now her grandson, Anthony Cortese, owner of Silver Pin Studios in Stamford, has made a documentary about her life.
Cortese hopes it will interest people who remember the Starlite Drive-In Theatre once on Shippan Avenue, where Lucy’s homemade Sicilian-style pizza stole the show during intermission, or Lucy’s Diner on Prospect Street, which expanded to become JR’s Cocktail Lounge.
Cortese hopes the documentary also will attract people interested in a bit of Stamford’s story, or in the story of a welcoming woman who knew how to work hard and take life head-on.
Cortese’s documentary will premiere Sept. 4 at the Italian Center on Newfield Avenue, with most of the proceeds going to research of Alzheimer’s, the disease that claimed Lucy’s life in 2010.
“She was a big part of Stamford during her snapshot in time,” Cortese said. “It was when Stamford was putting itself on the map.”
Lucy was 39 when she began to put herself on the map. It was 1951, and Lucy and her husband, Louie Loglisci, were living in a six-family house with their four children, renting an apartment that was not nearly large enough.
Her neighborhood in pre-urban renewal Stamford was becoming unsafe. Lucy decided she had to do something to bring in more money.