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Monte Landucci: Owner of Monte’s Just a Bite

CDN's weekly community profile

Monte Landucci and his 3-year-old daughter
Monte Landucci and his 3-year-old daughter
By Jaya Flanary Digital Editor/Designer

Monte Landucci (he/him)

Age: 52

City: Blaine

Lived here for: 10 years

Originally from: San Diego

Notable: Owner of Monte’s Just a Bite, a cash-only cafe in Blaine, and a father of four.

Tell me about the restaurant and how you acquired it.
I own Monte’s Just a Bite here in Blaine, Washington. It’s been interesting for the last couple of years. We took over Nov. 1, 2021, so it was kind of the end of the pandemic. We just kind of took what Tony (previous owner, when it was called Tony’s Just a Bite) had for a lot of years before that — he established this place — and improved on what he had. It’s just an all-American eatery, your basic everyday diner. I gave [Tony] a guarantee that I’d do it, I’d give it my best shot. The first four or five, six months was touch and go. We were literally to a point where we were taking in that money that day and then going and buying food, product and, you know, putting enough away for that person’s wages that day. Working 24 hours a day.

What made you want to take things over?
Actually, I didn’t want to. [Tony] wanted to get out of it and I was his option, so he kept forcing it until I said, “OK, we’ll do it.” [At the time] I was cooking, working at several places. Locally, I was working at Fairway Cafe, I was working at CJ’s Beach House down in Birch Bay, and I was also working at the steakhouse over here, Jack Niemann’s. 

How often do you cook now?
I’m here every Friday, Saturday, Sunday … I still love being a part of it. The only reason I take any time off, to be honest with you, is [my daughter] … She’s first, restaurant is second. We come down here from time to time and she cooks with me. We cook at home. I don’t want her to be my protege, that’s her choice in life.

How many decorations were here when you took over and how many have you added?
I would say about 50/50. He took a lot of things so I just kind of filled in all the blank spaces with it. I don’t want to say I’m any more of a true American or anything like this [but] I like constitutional liberty, so the “We the People” and “Bill of Rights” and the “U.S. Constitution” [signs] — I like having literature that people can read and enjoy, so that’s mostly my part of it … It’s kind of a blur, like driving down the road at 60 mph and trying to count pickets on a fence. The overwhelming comments and inquiries I get is … “I’ve been coming here since Tony was here and I still haven’t read everything.” I haven’t read everything! 

What’s it like to own a business near the border?
It’s great, I love it. A lot of the individuals that come down here, there’s stuff that we have [that they don’t]. Just being a bacon and eggs establishment, greasy spoon … I’ve gained a lot of patrons from up there.

What type of future do you see for Monte’s Just a Bite?
It’s a restaurant business, you never get rich in it. The only thing you can do is mitigate the negative possibilities. Your crew, your staff is paramount. I’ve been lucky to have good staff … I’m not going to force my daughter to have to do anything, but that option is always there.

“Faces in the Crowd” is published online and in print Fridays. Have a suggestion for a “Faces in the Crowd” subject? Email us at newstips@cascadiadaily.com.

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