Lunardi’s Italian Restaurant hopes to reopen in May after fire

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DAVENPORT, Iowa -- The only thing better than hearing a comeback story is living one.

The bare walls in the back of Lunardi's Italian Restaurant may not seem like much, but to owner Paul Lunardi, this empty room is hope.

"We're getting there. It's been a rough road," says Lunardi.

A few days before Christmas, the back room of the restaurant went up in flames after a fire started in what used to be the kitchen.

"With all of our salad oil, olive oil, it was like fuel to the fire when it started," remembers Lunardi.

At first it was hard to see past the destruction.

"For about the first two months, I didn't know if we were going to get back open or now," says Lunardi.

But with the help of the community and a driving force from up above, things are looking up.

"My Uncle Terry that started this was a huge driving force and a huge mentor to me. I feel if we couldn't reopen, it would be a huge letdown. It's just not in the cards to let that happen," says Lunardi.

Work is far from over.

"Things may look bleak, but things will turn around," says Lunardi.

But the sounds of chain saws signal progress.

Lunardi hopes to open back up around May 1, 2017. Right now, he is looking to hire new staff in all positions. To apply, contact Paul on the Lunardi's Facebook page.

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