Toni’s of Winnebago to close after rent increase
ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – Toni’s of Winnebago will close on September 28.
“She answered what we needed in Winnebago, and she provided great food at a great price,” said Frank Eubank, President of the Village of Winnebago.
Landlord Michelle Princer attributes her exit to a rent increase and the building owners’ decision not to release her from a personal guarantee agreement.
“I think a person who has been here for 23 years shouldn’t have to sign a personal guarantee,” Princer said. “I don’t think it was right after paying rent 23 times 12.”
Princer says she has offered to buy the property, but the owners have set the asking price at $ 600,000, a price Princer claims to be non-negotiable.
The Winnebago County Treasurer indicates the fair market value is approximately $ 319,000.
“We attract people,” Princer said. “My clients come here. They have pizza here. They forget a gallon of milk and go to Sullivan’s. They put gas in their cars at the gas station, and sometimes they just dine here, go to The Scoop and have an ice cream or go to Culver’s and have an ice cream.
Many customers have taken to social media to express their sadness over the restaurant’s closure. A customer declined to comment because it is “too difficult”.
“That impact isn’t just ‘I ate pizza at Toni’s,” Princer said. “It’s ‘I had an experience at Winnebago.'”
Princer says she will still host small events but can’t handle weddings at the moment. The owners of the building declined to comment at this time.
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