Upon completing a walk along the Newton Upper Falls Greenway, one might find themself at Little Luke’s Cafe, a quaint spot serving up breakfast, lunch, coffee, and pastries.
The cafe opened in March to positive feedback from the local community, according to owner Phil Emmanuel.
“So far, it’s been really positive,” he said. “People are excited that there’s a local place back open.”
Little Luke’s breakfast menu offers a range of sandwiches along with pancakes, bagels, and muffins, the latter of which have been particularly popular, according to Emmanuel.
“The cappuccino muffins are very popular in the morning, and [the] breakfast sandwiches,” he said.
The lunch menu features a variety of sandwiches, including the Little Luke’s signature, which includes roasted lamb and basil pesto on a brioche roll, store employee Hannah Masterman-Beras said.
“For lunch sandwiches, the Little Luke’s, the Haymarket, and the Eliot chicken salad are really popular,” she said.
In addition to being one of the more popular sandwiches, the Haymarket with roast beef is Masterman-Beras’ personal favorite.
“The Haymarket’s my favorite because the horseradish aioli is really good,” she said.
Emmanuel said he’s a fan of the Little Luke’s sandwich, named for the cafe’s namesake and his older brother.
“When this building became available, I wanted to name it after my brother, Luke,” he said.
According to Emmanuel, the “little” in Little Luke’s name references a childhood nickname that he received from spending so much time with his older brother.
“I used to hang around with my brother everywhere he went, so all his friends started calling me Little Luke,” Emmanuel said. “He’s since passed on, so I said this is a great opportunity to name it Little Luke’s, kind of a little bit about him and my family.”
Emmanuel said his Greek upbringing served as an inspiration for him to open the cafe.
“I lived in Greece for about three and a half years, when I was five years old to about eight years old,” he said. “That was a huge inspiration for me.”
According to Emmanuel, spending time in the kitchen with his mother and other relatives while growing up helped develop his passion for cooking.
“Me and my little brother Nick, we hung around my mother and all the older women, and all the older women were always cooking,” he said. “It was a big influence on me … especially when we were living in Greece.”
Going forward, Emmanuel said he plans to add ice cream and lemonade to the menu on May 27 as the weather improves.
“We’re going to be doing ice cream, soft serve sundaes, things like that coming the 27th of May,” he said. “And we’ll be extending our hours for Saturday and Sunday.”
Masterman-Beras said she’s proud to work at Little Luke’s thanks to the positive feedback she’s received from guests so far.
“They’ve just been commenting on our customer service and saying that it’s nice,” she said. “I’m pretty proud of, like, the food that we serve.”
Little Luke’s Cafe is located at 1225 Chestnut St. in Newton and is open Tuesday to Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.