GENEVA – Fiora’s, a renowned Geneva restaurant at 317 S. Third St. known for its food, ambiance, outdoor patio and live music, announced via social media that it closed permanently Jan. 3 after 13 years.
The restaurant was owned by Michael and Ann Anastasio.
The announcement was made on the restaurant’s Facebook page, which said Michael Anastasio “suffered a critical health event this past year.”
“He still has a tough road ahead of him that requires our complete focus. For this reason and with great sadness, we announce the closing of Fiora’s effective (Jan. 3),” according to the post. “We ask for your understanding and support during this time. Thank you in advance for your prayers as we navigate the coming months.”
Efforts to reach the Anastasio family were unsuccessful.
Al Buchanan, owner of Geneva Wine Cellars and Tasting Room – a neighbor of Fiora’s on Third Street – said his prayers are with Anastasio and his family.
“I think it’s a huge loss for Third Street,” Buchanan said. “Fiora’s was an institution and it was one of my favorite places to dine.”
Buchanan and Anastasio co-founded the Geneva Food and Beverage Association, which opposed a proposed restaurant tax in the city, but instead supported a successful citywide sales tax referendum in 2018. The downtown restaurants and beverage sellers supported the 0.5% sales tax increase because they opposed the city’s plan to impose a 2% Places for Eating Tax.
“And, of course, Mike is one of my favorite people. Having worked with him, I thought he was a gentleman and a true professional in every sense,” Buchanan said. “He was a pleasure to work with in forming and operating the Geneva Food and Beverage Association.”
The association was disbanded after achieving its goal, Buchanan said.
“As I indicated in my Facebook comment, I think his family has their priorities straight. Their No. 1 priority is Mike’s recovery and I wish them well in that regard,” Buchanan said. “I would hope in some form or fashion, Fiora’s reopens.”
Kenneth Shepro, a Wayne resident, said Anastasio was a big supporter of the Kane County Republican Party, of which Shepro is past-president.
“He was generous in his support and hospitality for the Geneva Republican Party and he was also a big supporter of the village of Wayne and the Wayne Police Department,” Shepro said. “The closing of the restaurant is a tremendous loss.”
Shepro said Fiora’s outdoor patio “was a wonderful place for gatherings in the spring and summer.”
“It just leaves an enormous hole in the whole community of Third Street and the Fox Valley,” Shepro said. “I’ve had many wonderful meals there. ... Everybody who knows him or the restaurant wishes him good things and a speedy recovery.”
Geneva Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman Laura Rush said in a statement that Anastasio was a member since 2009.
“He participated in Restaurant Week and had events at Fiora’s for Geneva Women in Business,” according to the statement. “His food was always good, and during festivals, the outside venue was always full.”
Mayor Kevin Burns said, “The city honors the difficult decision Ann, Mike and Alexa have made and send them our warmest thoughts as they navigate the next chapter in their lives, and, of course, thank them for 13 years of hospitality and generosity.”