Restaurant celebrates 50 years of business - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Restaurant celebrates 50 years of business


by Danielle Wagner

OELWEIN (KWWL) In 1959, 50 years ago, Luigi Stasi and his wife moved back to Oelwein from Minnesota so he could open his own restaurant.

"I started with just a small little restaurant with carhops with 24 by 40 in size and every year I kept adding on and adding on," said Luigi Stasi.

Years and renovations later, Luigi's Restaurant and Lounge now seats 350 people. Looking back, Luigi never thought his venture at being his own boss would survive this long.

"I didn't think I'd be in business that long. I thought iId be in business a few years and get rich and quit (laughing)," said Luigi Stasi.

Just like his sense of humor, Stasi never quit. That perseverance is what Luigi and his son Marty say is the key to the business's success.

"Just go in there everyday and do it," said Stasi.

"You just gotta stick to it. There's always going to be good days and bad days. You have to take both," said Marty Stasi.

Marty Stasi began working in his dad's restaurant at age 11 busing tables and doing dishes. Now, he's carrying on the family business.

"These kinds of businesses don't usually last more than a few years, let alone 50," he said.

Marty Stasi said the ability to change is also why Luigi's is still a mainstay of Oelwein. Today, he's placing more of an emphasis on catering and utilizing a banquet room for receptions and parties.

Luigi and Marty say the restaurant wouldn't be around without loyal employees and customers, which is why Luigi's is more than a place of business it's a place for family and friends.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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