A restaurant in Milan is now back in business after it was closed for nearly five months.
Luli’s Restaurant and Bar had to close because the owner, Al Limani, was diagnosed with COVID-19 and unable to work.
He was taken to Dubuque to receive treatment.
Limani spoke with Local 4 News Wednesday before the restaurant opened its doors.
Since the restaurant is family-run, they believed it was better to close down, which also meant letting go of its staff.
“Our daughter works in here, two sons work here too when they’re off school,” said Limani. “My wife is here pretty much all the time, and me.”
Luli’s has been serving the community for two years, but the pandemic forced the restaurant to close in the summer.
Community members noticed and came to help them out.
“They mow the grass, they take care of the porch, they came in and they checked for something leaking or whatever,” said Limani. “It’s a building. A lot of things could go wrong. They kept it in a very top shape.”
The owners look at the reopening of the restaurant as a second chance.
“Safety is the most important thing, I believe, and everything else is second to me,” said Limani. “For the most part, I can’t complain about too much because I guess I got a second chance in life. Not too many people made it. I was one of the lucky ones.”
Servers are ready to welcome back customers.
“It was not just devastating for our family but for the staff too,” said Limani. “But thank God the staff has been returned. All of them.”
Right now, the restaurant will be open 3 to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday.
Once they have a full staff, they’ll go back to offering lunch.