Lena's Restaurant & Banquet
Lena’s Restaurant & Banquet is celebrating 30 years of business with a newly-remodeled dining room and a brand new menu. It is still owned by the same family, so you know it must be a special place. And so it is with Lena’s Restaurant & Banquets, a place that offers authentic Italian cuisine made from family recipes. The restaurant opened on Feb. 14, 1982, under the ownership of Italian immigrants Joseph and Lena Lonero. Over the years the Loneros expanded the menu to include a wide selection of Italian entrees ~ they’re still made from a combination of Joseph and Lena’s family recipes ~ and with the increased patronage that brought in, they needed to expand the dining area as well.
As the restaurant grew, the family also decided to come up with a new name. And, really, there was just one name that seemed a perfect fit ~ Lena’s Restaurant & Pizza. They decided to name the restaurant after the matriarch of the family, Lena Lonero, whom customers and staff still affectionately call “Mama Lena”. She always seemed to be the heart and soul of the restaurant. “A lot of people knew my mother and a lot of people used to come here just to see my mother, and my mother loves to talk to the customers,” Sal Lonero says.
Joseph and Lena retired in 1998 and turned the restaurant over to their son, Sal. But for Lena, retirement only means she’s cut down on her hours, because she still helps out at the restaurant just about everyday. She likes to make spinach pies and the sausage bread, give her opinion on the ways things should be done, and of course, she loves chatting with the customers.