At Lui Lui Restaurant, customers are greeted by a quaint environment where they can enjoy an intimate meal. Advertised as serving global cuisine, Lui Lui’s menu reflects that diversity.
Located at 8 Station St., this Athens restaurant was established in 1994 and is on its third generation of owners, Andrea Molnar and Scott Frendscho. The married couple began working at the restaurant in 2006 while they both were attending Ohio University. They bought the business from former owner Jade Mu in 2013.
“Jade became a very influential figure in my life. I admired the fact that not only was she a woman business owner, but also a Chinese immigrant,” Molnar says. “She had a way of making everyone feel special, and made all of her employees feel like they were part of her family. While I was a student, Lui Lui Restaurant became my home away from home.”
Molnar has worked in the restaurant business for 16 years, beginning her career as a waitress while she attended high school in Northeastern Ohio.
“I’ve always enjoyed the creation, camaraderie and sometimes chaos involved in restaurant work,” Molnar says.
The original concept of Lui Lui was a dining establishment with eastern and western culinary influences. Molnar and Frendscho employ 22 employees: a head chef, line cooks, prep cooks and a dishwasher in the back. The front of house staff includes servers and hosts.
Lui Lui’s diverse menu includes Thai, Japanese and Italian cuisine. They offer brick oven pizza after 5 p.m. from Sept. to May and their most popular item for college students is the sushi special on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Though the restaurant offers tons of dishes, Molnar has a few favorites.
“If you eat meat, hands down the Rack of Lamb. If you are in the mood for pasta, the Thai Chicken Pasta and if you need some greens, the Crab Cake Salad is delicious,” she says. “Our Bacon Mango pizza is delicious and a popular pick. If you try our sushi on Tuesday or Thursday, go for the Athens Roll.”
In addition to the regular menu, they offer a gluten-free menu and menu items that incorporate guidelines from the Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP). CHIP is an affordable program that is designed to reduce the risk of disease through healthier lifestyle choices. The diet is plant-based with a focus on whole foods.
Lui Lui Restaurant partners with multiple local businesses, such as Jackie O’s Pub and Brewery, Creekside Farm and Live Healthy Appalachia. These businesses assure the quality of Lui Lui’s food and the future of the restaurant.
“We have kept the same style, using local ingredients in our dishes whenever possible,” Molnar says.
Ohio University sophomore Colton Wheeler recently went to Lui Lui for the first time.
“The menu is interesting; it’s not something you would normally see at just one restaurant. It has a lot of variety,” Wheeler says. “I’ll definitely be going back.”
Enjoy Lui Lui’s diverse cuisine at 8 Station St..
Questions? Contact Lui Lui Restaurant online at http://luiluirestaurant.com or call 740-594-8905.