ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A stateline family celebrated half a century of success in the “Forest City.”

Lino’s, 5611 E State St., marked its 50th anniversary on Tuesday. The restaurant was founded in 1972 by the Battista family.

Lino’s employees were in the spotlight Tuesday, as the owners said that their longevity is part of the reason Lino’s has survived. Many have served the restaurant for more than 20 years, and the longest tenured employee has been around for 44 years.

Customers have been just as loyal.

“We’re now getting into like 4th and 5th generations of Rockfordians, coming in, celebrating different thing,” said Charlie Schweinler, 3rd generation Lino’s co-owner. “I always share that story, ‘Oh I was here in 1972,” then they tell me about the renovations and the things that we’ve done. We’re not just a story about us, it’s a story about Rockford.”

Lino’s will keep the celebration going throughout the year with special events.