Toni’s of Winnebago closing causes outrage, police monitoring social media

WINNEBAGO — An elderly couple who immigrated generations ago to the United States from Sicily has been vilified on social media since news broke that they were parting ways with Toni’s of Winnebago. 

Now, extended family who own other restaurants in the Rockford area and have no ownership stake in the building are being dragged into the dispute as well.

Family members have been called “rats” and worse on social media.

Winnebago Police Chief Jeff White said some of the rhetoric has been heated enough to draw his attention, but not what he would consider a threat against the property owners.

White said he is monitoring the comments daily for potential threats of violence.

‘I’m gutted’:Toni’s of Winnebago closing after 23 years of business

History of Toni’s

Before it was known as Toni’s of Winnebago, the restaurant at 508 N. Elida St. was Toni’s Dariette for nearly two decades. It was operated by Carl Salamone, 84, and his wife, Rose. It’s the only restaurant building they own.

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