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Oregon restaurant one step closer to re-opening

Commission agrees to prorate license

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 1:15 a.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 2:06 p.m. CST

OREGON – Pending any unforeseen hurdles, Maxson’s Riverside Restaurant will soon have new owners and be back open for business.

Frank and Nancy Semmerling of Riverwoods were in Oregon last week to attend the meeting of the Ogle County Liquor Commission, which was considering their application for a liquor license at the Oregon landmark.

“I spoke to the sheriff [Michael Harn], and there are no felonies in the background check,” said Chairman Kim Gouker of Byron, who also heads the county board.

Gouker also talked to State’s Attorney Mike Rock to verify the rules about residency were followed.

“I looked at the ordinance about being residents,” Rock said. “It applies to individuals. They are applying as a corporation. Residency should not be a bar.”

The liquor commission agreed to prorate the license.

With the issuing of a liquor license, the Semmerlings will still need to apply for the state liquor license.

The Semmerlings are in the process of buying the restaurant and its riverboat from current owner Rich Wiesner of Oregon.

“We are hoping to learn a lot from the Wiesners,” Frank Semmerling said. “We are looking to open in March.”

He said the closing on the property was scheduled for this week.

“Once we close, we will work to get everything ready to open,” Frank Semmerling said. “We have two chefs that will work at the restaurant.”

Daniel Wiegman will be the executive chef and the Semmerlings’ daughter will be the second chef.

“They will create a new menu but will have the same fare as before,” Frank Semmerling said. “We also plan to continue the Sunday brunch.”

Staples like steak, chicken, and the orange rolls will be on the menu.

Once the sale is complete, the Semmerlings will be accepting reservations for weddings and banquets.

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