SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Laci’s Tapas Bar was a restaurant in Syracuse that served small plates and an extensive list of cocktails. The owner, Laura Serway, opened the establishment three years ago, and since then, Laci’s has become a staple in the Syracuse community. Serway decided to close the restaurant on Dec. 19.
“I’ve been thinking about this for eight months, maybe a year. After all this COVID stuff hit, I said, ‘That’s the final straw that broke the camel’s back,'” Serway said.
Serway described life as “80/20.” She said that 80% of her decision was about figuring out what she would do next, and the remaining 20% was the restrictions the coronavirus pandemic placed on the restaurant.
75% of the employees at the restaurant have worked there since opening day. Serway described her team as part of her community.
Other than serving their patrons at the restaurant, Serway is dedicated to serving the community through various charities and philanthropic organizations.
“The restaurant has helped to raise almost $135,000 for nine various philanthropic agencies,” Serway said.
Some of the non-profits that Serway and Laci’s work with are Vera House, United Way, The Salvation Army and animal welfare groups.
During the shutdown in April due to coronavirus restrictions, Serway worked with The Salvation Army to prepare meals for families.
“We did all their takeout meals for nine weeks straight during COVID,” Serway said.
Serway is no stranger to working closely with her community, and she has been doing work like this for over ten years.
“It’s not about me. This is about the community,” Serway said. “We have always represented the community in the best way we could.”
The decision to close the restaurant was in the works for almost eight months, but Serway decided that closing on Dec. 19, was the best plan.
“I’ve been given this opportunity to have this amazing restaurant with an outstanding team and incredible following,” Serway said. “The best time to leave anything in life is when you’re on the top.”