HOUGHTON — They say that you can tell a good restaurant by the popularity of its parking lot, and if that’s true, the City of Houghton is home to an instant success. Residents lined up this morning to welcome the opening of Krunch, a new local restaurant.

When Krunch owner Paul Gemignani woke up this morning, he wasn’t sure what to expect today.

“I had no idea if there was going to be 4 people or 400 people and it definitely exceeded my expectations,” said Gemignani.

Monday was opening day of Paul’s newest business endeavor, Krunch. Gauging by the large crowd of customers in his lobby, their taste buds have been anticipating this day as much as he has.

“The Copper Country has come out and supported us and we really appreciate it,” he said.

A positive turn out didn’t come as a huge surprise. Gemignani and his crew have been serving the Keweenaw Peninsula for quite a while now, but Krunch however, has a different menu than most places.

“We do offer a wide range of stuff from burgers and pork bellies, which aren’t as healthy for you to vegan options such as grain bowls and avocado. There’s a lot of vegan options, and then you can add your proteins if you want,” he said.

The idea for this type of dinning came from within his own family.

“My wife is a vegan and there are not a lot of places that she can go, so that’s one of the reasons we went after this specific food niche. I hope everyone likes it,” Gemignani said.

Along with filling tummies, Krunch also fills a gap in commerce in Houghton. The restaurant is located in the building that was formerly occupied by Hardees that operated until this past November.