Q&A: Slim's Co-Owner Celeste Lucas On Cornbread, Cornbreds, Cornbread Fest, and Marrying Her Husband For His Cornbread

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Celeste Lucas, keeper of secrets at Slim's Last Chance Chili, and host of Cornbread Fest on Saturday. Bands--Bullitt County, Guns of Nevada, Hard Money Saints,

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Q&A: Slim's Co-Owner Celeste Lucas On Cornbread, Cornbreds, Cornbread Fest, and Marrying Her Husband For His Cornbread

  • Q&A: Slim's Co-Owner Celeste Lucas On Cornbread, Cornbreds, Cornbread Fest, and Marrying Her Husband For His Cornbread

  • ">

    celeste.jpg
    Celeste Lucas, keeper of secrets at Slim's Last Chance Chili, and host of Cornbread Fest on Saturday. Bands--Bullitt County, Guns of Nevada, Hard Money Saints, Load Levelers, Moonshine Missile, Hartwood, Gunn & the Damage Done, Sean B. of Kings of Outlaw Country--start at 2 p.m., and $10 gets you through the door and a slice of cornbread.
    When Big John Hamhock, the lead singer of local band Bullitt County, approached Celeste Lucas with the idea of a holding an all-day festival called Cornbread Fest at her bar, Slim's Last Chance Chili, Mr. Hamhock envisioned a fest that would have something for "anybody with a pompadour, trucker hat, or mullet." Lucas says she thought the name Cornbread was more than appropriate in a couple different ways for her club, which books rockabilly, country, and several varieties of alts. Cornbread (the food, not the fest) is a summer favorite they make from scratch, she says, plus, "I was thinking because it's all kinda country, hillbilly kind of music, inbred ... cornbread," she says, hitting the right rhythm between the two.

    Just two weeks after Slims' PBRBQ, Lucas' festival on Saturday brings together eight bands for an all-day celebration of keeping your cornbread moist. Here, the owner of Slim's and neighboring Pig Iron Bar-B-Q talks about Sonic Youth, courtship, and raising a family with a pair of businesses on her hip.

    Do you remember your favorite piece of cornbread?

    The first one I liked, my husband (co-owner Michael Lucas) made, and he's the one who came up with the menu here. It was always a little bit dry, so he made it good. I think (he made it) at my house when we were dating, 12 years ago. He cooked for me constantly. That's how we ended up together, I think. He was the chef at Hattie's Hat, and I was a bartender at Lock & Keel Tavern, and he would bring me dinner all the time. Food was definitely the cornerstone in our relationship, and also the drive to open Pig Iron and Slim's.

    I hear what you're saying about the dry cornbread. What's the secret to getting cornbread that's not dry?

    I can't tell you the secret.

    How about the first good show you went to?

    I would say it was Sonic Youth and it was Union Station on Fourth and Jackson. It was just the coolest place to see a show. I want to say in the early '90s, maybe '89.

    How did you get from Sonic Youth to rockabilly?

    Well, rockabilly isn't all we do here. But we tend to get coined that way. Both my husband and I were punk rockers. We grew up that way, and progressed into alternative country. He kind of turned me onto it. Here we try to keep it just music that we love. It ranges. We don't go for the rap or the industrial music, but we do a lot of rock and roll, country, and punk rock.

    You have two kids and two businesses. How do you make it work?

    Four kids then, right? I don't know. It's a lot of work, but it's like anything. I wish I'd known this when I was younger, but if you're passionate about something and you love it you can totally do it, no matter what it takes. You just do it. And if at some point we didn't love what we did, maybe it would be a lot harder.

    CKORNELIS@SEATTLEWEEKLY.COM

    Cornbread Fest Show Slim's Last Chance Chili, 5606 First Ave. South, 762-7900, SlimsLastChance.com, $10 (w/a slice of cornbread), 21+, Sat., July 31

     
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