DAVENPORT, Iowa - Success comes in layers at Lunardi's in Davenport. That's where the kitchen is busy these days.
"It's fast, and the orders are coming in fast, too," said General Manager Jake Lunardi, 22, on Tuesday, December 19.
That includes all 17 layers of its legendary lasagna. Francisco Herrera and Deountre Berka are building each magnificent mountain by hand. They're making dozens by the day.
"We've come a long way," said Lunardi, the third generation to operate the family eatery, which opened in 1989. "Surprisingly, business is great."
But things weren't so great on December 22, 2016. The Italian restaurant went up in smoke, burning holiday orders in the blaze.
"It's devastating when you have a fire," Lunardi said. "It's unexpected, and everything we do is by paper."
After being shuttered for six months, there's a new kitchen. Sauces and soups are simmering again. Most of the 25 employees are back. Best yet, customers, new and old, didn't forget.
"It's kind of like being a superstar," Lunardi said. "You're up on the stage, and you don't know that you're being watched by a lot of people."
At Lunardi's, the new beginning represents vintage values and a 2017 holiday season to remember.
"We want you to feel like you're family and treated the same as everyone else," he said.
Jake Lunardi is carrying on the tradition established by the late Terry Lunardi, who opened the restaurant.
"It's comforting when you see old faces come in, and it feels like home," Jake concluded.
You'll find Lunardi's at 102 East Kimberly Road in Davenport near NorthPark Mall. It's open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week. Phone: (563) 388-0001.
Watch the 17-layer lasagna being made below.