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Maxson’s restaurant getting new owners

Town fixture shut doors in October

OREGON – A landmark restaurant that closed last fall might soon reopen with new owners.

An agenda for the Ogle County Liquor Commission listed “Maxson Manor – new owners” under new business for its meeting today.

Frank and Nancy Semmerling of Riverwoods are buying Maxson’s Riverside Restaurant, 1469 State Route 2.

The well-known restaurant closed its doors Oct. 31 after more than 60 years of business. The restaurant features the Pride of Oregon Riverboat, a paddle-wheeler built in Palatka, Fla., in the late 1980s.

County Board Chairman Kim Gouker of Byron, who also heads the Liquor Commission, said the new owners had not yet closed on the purchase of the restaurant from current owner Rich Wiesner of Oregon.

Gouker said the purchase hinges on whether the Liquor Commission approves a liquor license for the new owners.

Members of the Liquor Commission are Gouker and fellow county board members John Finfrock of Mount Morris and Rich Gronewold of Forreston.

Neither Wiesner nor the Semmerlings could be reached for comment.

When he announced the closing in early October, Wiesner, 66, said he was ready to retire.

The restaurant’s fourth owner, Wiesner had owned and operated it since 1992, when he bought it from the heirs of Rose Jones.

Original owner John Maxson and his family opened the restaurant in 1952 and operated it until they sold it to John and Peter Tsioles in 1978.

Jones bought the restaurant from the Tsioles brothers in 1985. She added the riverboat, originally called the Rose of the Rock, 4 years later.

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