Serving Up Lasting Memories

By: Laura Gibbs
By: Laura Gibbs

People and places come and go, but we've always been able to rely on one hometown favorite; Manzullo's Famous Restaurant.

Nancy Belt has been coming to Manzullo’s for 22 years. She says, "We heard they were closing and we wanted to come here one last time, so that's why we are here tonight."

In passing from table to table, the dinner conversations Friday night focused on what customers will miss.

George Belt says, "It's a homey atmosphere. Everybody knows everybody and you always come in see people. "

Those dining Friday, Saturday or Sunday night at Manzullo's are lucky to get one last meal. With just three weeks left, the reservation book is filled, so that means no one else can get in.

Owner Frank Manzullo says, "I wish this place was 10 times bigger since this last month so many people are coming down."

What is now a gift shop across from Manzullo's was originally the only Italian drive in back in 1953. Then in 1963, Frank Manzullo Sr. turned the family’s home into the restaurant that we all know today, but after 41 years of cooking, serving and living his American dream, Frank and his wife are retiring.

Frank tells 23 News, "The area's booming which has increased business so much that we can't handle it. It's too much for us, so we thought we would quit while we were ahead."

Through the years, first timers to regulars will always know that they may have walked in as a stranger but they left as family.

Manzullo's will be converted into a quilting studio where guests can spend the night in apartments upstairs.


23 WIFR 2523 North Meridian Road Rockford, IL. 61101 Business: 815-987-5300 Fax: 815-965-0981 News: 815-987-5330 Fax: 815-987-5333
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