Rockford's Lucerne's Fondue and Spirits serves food with a side - – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford's Lucerne's Fondue and Spirits serves food with a side of tradition


What makes a good restaurant?

There's the atmosphere. The service. And there's the food.

Mark Tietz opened Lucerne's Fondue and Spirits 25 years ago in downtown Rockford. 

He'd never worked in the food industry, which meant he didn't cook. But he found a way to get around that.

"When we first started years and years ago, people would sit and order a number off the menu, and tell me I want it medium well. I would have to kind of respond, 'you can have it medium well but it will be about three minutes in the oil,'" said Lucerne's Fondue and Spirits Owner Mark Tietz.

Instead of Mark cooking, he asks his customers to do it.

Diners are served an overflowing glass of wine and a four course meal.

"We carry beef, chicken, shrimp, scallop, lobster and ostrich," Tietz said.

If you can decide which one to eat first, the next step is to dip the meat inside the steaming fondue pot. 

"You just take your fondue fork, spear into your item and retrieve it for yourself," Tietz said.

The final product diners say is perfection.

Tietz also has an explanation for why Spirits is part of the restaurant's name.

"We really did it in particular to reference the extra non paying renters as we call them. I think there are some spirits, some ghosts if you will," Tietz said.

The house was built in 1895. Back then mark said the homeowners lived a life of luxury.

Today, he said one of the servants who called this place home still roams the house to make sure it's taken care of.

"We hear him going up the stairs, boom, boom, boom, like he's going up to feed his boss," Tietz said.

That's one explanation, but he could also just be taking advantage of the the sounds, smells and tastes that now come out of this historic home.

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