A Call Box reader wants to know name of restaurant in Five Points where he took date in 1976.

Question: Dear Call Box: In July of 1976, I turned 16 and acquired that gateway to freedom and independence: my driver’s license. That summer I went on my first official date. We went to a little romantic Italian restaurant with an abundance of ambiance in Five Points. It had linen table cloths, was dimly lit with candles on every table and was a wonderful long, narrow place.


It was on Park Street across from the former Five Points Theatre. After dinner, we went to see the movie, “The Pink Panther Strikes Again” at the St. John’s Theatre. The Italian restaurant closed long ago. I cannot remember the name of that restaurant for the life of me. Any idea what it was?


C.Z., Jacksonville


Dear C.Z.: At first, we thought you were referring to Kostas Pizza Italian Restaurant, a 41-year-old eatery at 1053 Park St. Owner Kostas Margaritis said on the restaurant’s Facebook page that he closed the business in June 2017 due to health problems.


But after talking with you, we realized it wasn’t the one you remembered. We spoke to Gunnel Humphreys, who has owned Edge City, a hip women’s clothing boutique at 1017 Park St., since 1976. After a brainstorming session, she said the restaurant must have been Dane’s, and you agreed that it fit the description.


Although not an Italian restaurant, Lucas served a continental menu ranging from lasagna to chicken with fettuccine. His restaurants were adorned with his signature green stained-glass sign.


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Lucas opened Dane’s in Five Points in 1975 and sold it in 1978 when he opened a Dane’s at University and Atlantic boulevards in Arlington. The Five Points’ location operated as Aslan’s Table, but the venture failed and Lucas repurchased the business a year later.


It was sold again in 1982 and operated briefly as Park Villa. Lucas again repurchased it, and it remained closed about four months. It was then reopened as Dane’s on Park after renovations, according to newspaper archives.


He sold in 1983 to go into the paddle wheel cruise line business. In 1993, he opened another restaurant called Dane’s at 1011 Riviera St. in San Marco but later closed it. He is now retired from the restaurant business.


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