Jacksonville is getting a taste of Italy. According to reports from the Journal-Courier, Lira Italian Restaurant will be opening in the former El Rancherito location in Lincoln Square according to paperwork owner Antonio Elezi has filed with the city of Jacksonville. The restaurant will offer authentic Italian food made from scratch and based on Elezi’s family recipes.
Elezi and his family moved to the U.S. from Venice, Italy, 12 years ago and opened the first Viva Italia restaurant in Kirksville, Missouri and Viva Italia in Hannibal, Missouri two years ago.
According to the report, The menu will have more than 100 items featuring a full range of foods rather than focusing solely on pizza or pasta. Items on the menu include pasta, veal, seafood dishes, homemade desserts and bread. The restaurant is working on getting a beer and wine license.
Prices on the dishes will range from $11 to $17, Elezi said, noting that, for the first couple of months, the restaurant will only take cash or check. Elezi told the Journal Courier that wait times for lunch will not exceed 20 minutes.
While work to get the restaurant ready is almost finished, Elezi doesn’t yet have an opening date set. Hours will be from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily. Along with sit-down dining, Lira Italian Restaurant also will offer catering and a takeout menu.