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‘Soft opening’ March 22 for Oregon restaurant

Brunch service to resume March 23

Published: Thursday, March 13, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, March 13, 2014 9:18 a.m. CDT

After being closed for almost 5 months, Maxson’s Riverside Restaurant will reopen under new management on the first weekend of spring.

New owner Nancy Semmerling said Monday that a “soft opening” for Oregon residents only will be held Saturday, March 22, from 3 to 6 p.m. Invitations will be going out in the mail.

The ever-popular Sunday morning brunch will resume the following day, and the general public is invited then.

“Everyone is invited to come for Sunday brunch on March 23,” Semmerling said. “We’ll be open for business.”

Semmerling and her husband Frank, Riverwoods, purchased the restaurant, , 1469 state Route 2, and its riverboat, the Pride of Oregon, last month from owner Rich Wiesner of Oregon.

Wiesner, who had owned and operated the restaurant since 1992, retired Oct. 31 and closed the local landmark, which had been in business for more than 60 years.

Since then, the Semmerlings and their daughter and son-in-law, both chefs, have been remodeling and updating the restaurant to get ready for the reopening.

Although the restaurant will be open, Semmerling said it is anybody’s guess when the Pride of Oregon will sail again.

“That all depends on how soon the ice goes out of the river,” she said.

The paddle-wheeler was built in the late-1980s in Palatka, Fla.

The restaurant’s 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.

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

Wiesner bought it from Jones’ heirs.

A fire destroyed the original restaurant building on March 27, 1993, but it was rebuilt and reopened in the summer of 1994.

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