We Love Lucy: Strolling Down the Avenue With a Beloved Bartender

Lucyna Mickievicius, the owner of Lucy’s on Avenue A, has lived in the East Village for over 30 years. In 1981, she tended bar at Blanche’s on St. Marks Place while putting in weekend shifts at Blue & Gold bar. Blanche’s moved to Avenue A, and became known as Lucy’s after Ms. Mickievicius made a trip to Poland to visit her son.

“People were asking what happened to me,” she said. “The owners got frustrated telling the same story, so they made the Lucy’s sign outside to show I was still there. I came back from Poland and saw the sign. It didn’t look so bad.”

“What was I supposed to do?” she laughed. “It would be a shame to destroy it. And it’s stayed that way ever since.” Indeed, Lucy’s took over the dive 15 years ago and still spends her nights behind the bar – barring the occasional vacation.

Before one of Lucy’s recent breaks, The Local’s Suzanne Rozdeba spent the day with her, visiting some of her favorite haunts, including Ray’s Candy Store, and speaking to her in her native Polish about how she came to work at the bar.