Let me tell you about this restaurant that I discovered this past year. It’s truly a hidden gem and it’s turned out to be one of my favorite places to dine with my husband and friends. The Hole in One Café offers food that is different from any other restaurant in Lufkin and offers a quiet ambiance for a lovely night out. Luckett’s Hole in One Café was founded in 1998 by Robert Marye Sr., Sandy Marye and their son Robert Marye Jr. (more commonly known as Lucky). It is a family-owned business now run by Lucky due to Robert Sr.’s health issues. I decided to ask Lucky a few questions about the secrets to the restaurant’s success.
Q: How was the Hole in One Café born?
A: We began at the old Hole in One Bakery in Crown Colony. We sold our dry cleaners we had for 14 years, took a break and then decided that location would make a nice restaurant.
The Marye name is somewhat hard to pronounce, so we thought we would use Luckett, which is easier to say. It’s a French name originating from Rouen, France. In Louisiana there are Lucketts and Maryes, so the name has a colorful history.
In 2001 we moved to our current location at 4306 S. First St., inside the Quality Inn lobby. The sign from the Hole in One Bakery was beautiful, so we kept it and made it the Hole in One Café. The sign is now being refurbished and will go up soon.
Q: Tell me what makes this hidden gem so special.
A: Robert Sr.’s sister was the publisher for Houston’s Gourmet magazine and has many friends who have written cookbooks, so the family has a lot of sources to pull ideas from.
We have had different chefs, but our longtime chef and friend, Steve Guseman, is the creative force behind our food today. He can take a recipe and make it his own and turn it into something amazing. We always try to offer unique dishes that are made from scratch. All of our salad dressings and desserts are homemade.
Q: You offer food that is considered high-end and different for Lufkin. Tell me about your amazing menu and some of your customer favorites.
A: We use good-quality ingredients and high-end products, such as our steaks. They are delivered weekly from Houston and are never frozen. Some customer favorites include all of our steaks, including the popular Ultimate Chicken Fried Steak (made from a fillet), the pork chop with cream sauce, the mahi-mahi with lemon butter blanc sauce, and our shrimp and grits.
Q:You have an extra room for social gatherings. What events do you host and how would someone rent this space?
A: We have a 60-seat capacity inside our restaurant and also have a banquet room which accommodates small weddings, rehearsal dinners, private meetings and parties. To book our banquet room, call our main number after 5 p.m. and ask to speak with Lucky Marye.
Q: Do you offer catering?
A: We provide onsite and offsite catering. We use items from our dinner menu but we can also make different items per request. We provide anything from hors d’oeuvres to entrees and desserts.
Q:I got to sample your new key lime pie and I must say it was the best I have ever had. Will you be offering anything else new in the near future?
A: Our chef is working on a new menu with new dishes and old favorites such as bananas foster, toffee brownie sundae and the new strawberry key lime pie you tried. We are also bringing back the spinach and artichoke dip, and adding a Louisiana barbecue shrimp and a surf and turf (which is a 6-ounce fillet with crab-stuffed shrimp served with two sides and a dinner salad).
We want our customers to know how much we appreciate them all, and we are always welcoming anyone to join us for dinner, drinks and desserts. Bon appétit!