Luke’s On Grant will serve its last Italian beef sandwiches loaded with peppers and onions on Saturday. The restaurant will close at the end of business June 23 after losing its lease.

After more than 20 years at East Grant Road near North Swan Road, Luke’s on Grant sandwich shop is closing on Saturday, June 23, the victim of a lost lease.

Jennifer Tilton, whose family has owned the restaurant the last 5½ years, said they are looking for a new location. Tilton is the granddaughter of Luke’s founder Luke Del Principe, who still runs Luke’s Italian Beef at 1615 S. Alvernon Way.

“We have a couple spots we’re waiting to hear from,” she said.

The leasing agent for the Grant Road property could not be reached to comment on Tuesday.

Del Principe has operated sandwich shops in Tucson since the early 1980s, when he moved to Arizona from his native Chicago, where he had owned sandwich shops since the 1960s. He started out in Tucson on East 22nd Street and South Alvernon Way before moving down the street to his current Alvernon location, said his son Gregg Del Principe, who runs the family’s Marana restaurant.

At one point, the family operated several outposts of Luke’s including one in central Phoenix that has been open about 30 years, Tilton said.

Gregg Del Principe re-opened Luke’s in Marana at 6741 N. Thornydale Road last month after the franchise operator called it quits early this year. The restaurant has been on Thornydale for about 20 years.

The Thornydale restaurant and Del Principe’s father’s restaurant on Alvernon are the last remaining in Tucson. His brother operates an offshoot, Kenny D’s on East 22nd Street and North Pantano Road, that serves the core of Luke’s Italian Beef menu.

Tilton said the Grant Road restaurant will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through Saturday.

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at or 573-4642.