Anna’s Restaurant owners Brian and Stacy Weavel announced last week they will be closing the business and selling the building located at 101 S. Benton St.

All good things must come to an end
By Doug Schroder
If you haven’t heard by now, Winnebago will be losing a community stalwart as it was announced on Tuesday, Aug. 6 that Anna’s Pizza and Pasta Restaurant will be closing its doors after almost 24 years of doing business. Owner Brian Weavel and his wife, Stacy, posted the announcement on social media, which quickly spread throughout the area. News of the closing was even reported by various media outlets.
It was a very difficult decision for the couple to close Anna’s Pizza & Pasta. Brian has been considering this for the past two years.
“Having a family that is very active and working 80 hours a week, seven days a week just does not allow for as much family time as I would like. I have missed a lot and now I want family to be my focus,” stated Weavel.
Serving up tasty food from the restaurant has not been the only forte for Weavel. There have been hundreds, if not thousands, of people who have benefitted Brian’s generosity, kindness and hard work.
“We are very proud of what Anna’s has done in our community. Since 1995 we have been a staunch advocate for Winnebago and the small businesses. We have accomplished so much with this little corner pizza place. We have employed over 150 of our local youth along the way. Over the years, with your support, Anna’s fundraising efforts have produced over $250,000 for schools, reading programs, athletics, the sick, the needy, church groups, sponsoring, etc. I hope you will agree that Anna’s has made a positive impact. Although the roles will change, I will still be very active in community,” stated Weavel.
Despite being located in a mid-western village of only 2,900 residents Weavel used his business, after honing his Internet skills, to reach out far beyond the village limits and connect with others across the nation and world. Through some of those connections Weavel was selected as a guest editor for a month by Pizza Today magazine, he was a guest last fall on the set of the cable television show Small Business Revolution, the United States Chamber of Commerce featured him nationally in an article, he was selected to speak on community at the International Pizza Expo held in Las Vegas this past spring, and then a few days later gave speeches at the Mid-West Food Service Expo in Milwaukee. These are a few examples of what Weavel has been able to accomplish during his time in business.
Being a restaurant owner has also provided Weavel the chance to brush with some local and national celebrities. Many years ago he made a pizza for Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick, and later on he got to cook onstage with Robert Irvine of the Food Network.
Weavel made a pizza for Super Bowl champ Sean Considine that Considine used during a speaking engagement with students at Winnebago High School.
Weavel also worked with the Ahman Green Foundation by selling an Aman Green Pizza he created to raise funds for the foundation founded by Green Bay Packer player Ahman Green. Weavel received the Compassion Award from the foundation for his efforts.
Former San Francisco 49’er Spice Adams sent Weavel some signed cleats that were raffled off. That paid for a whole year of programming for the Winnebago PBIS program, which awards kids for good behaviors.
Quite a few sports celebrities have graced Anna’s premises. NHL players Jimmy Hayes and PC LaBree have eaten there. Professional wrestler Koko B. Ware has too. Over 100 women from the All American Professional Girl’s Baseball League, including Rockford Peaches Sis Waddell, Joan Kaufman, Bobbie Thompson and Beans Risseling, have eaten at Anna’s.
Weavel plans on being open for another month or two, encouraging customers to take advantage of this time to utilize any gift certificates they may have. An official release will be made when the final open date is firm. All scheduled catering events will take place as planned.
“We want this last month to be a memorable one, so please stop by and share some Anna’s memories. It has been an honor to be a part of your birthday parties, weddings and family nights. I will truly miss serving pizza to my community,” Weavel concluded.

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