Owner reacts to loss of family restaurant - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Owner reacts to loss of family restaurant

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An eastern Iowa family is figuring out what to do next after losing their business over the weekend.

A fire destroyed the family restaurant which acts as a banquet hall and meeting place for so many in the community. 

The weekend fire started in the kitchen, eventually taking over the whole building.

The owner Luigi Stasi says the thing he will miss most about his restaurant is talking with people.

"I was at home and then they called us up and said that one of the broaster blew up then it threw grease all over, and on caught on fire," said Luigi. "One of the cooks tried to stop it, but they couldn't."

The fire destroyed the restaurant, taking it from the Stasi family and from Oelwein.

Luigi's daughters call the restaurant their dad's baby, they say they loss more than the family restaurant in this fire. 

Marni, Luigi's daughter says to her father, "we are your babies, but this is your bigger baby." 

Memories of meatball fights and holidays are all the family has left. It's been a few days since the fire and the family is trying to keep their spirits high by joking about the chicken mascot that survived the fire and even about Luigi's age.

The question on many minds is what is next for Luigi's beloved family restaurant?

"Well I am at the point now where I am retiring, these guys can handle it," said Luigi. 

 For now the family and the town is still trying to figure out how to say goodbye.

Luigi and his family are so thankful for all the support from the town of Oelwein in the last few days and the last 57 years.

The Stasi's say everyone who worked and came to the restaurant were family. A few of the employees worked there for over 20 years.

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