Archive for Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Mo’s Pizza to close Saturday

March 7, 2007

Mo's Pizza, a longtime Tonganoxie pizza restaurant, will close this week.

After supper Saturday, Marlo and Emmett Wetta will lock the doors on Mo's for good at 8 p.m.

The Wettas said they were negotiating with owners of another restaurant who are interested in possibly buying the business. The Wettas will continue to own the building, which also houses Mr. Goodcents.

The Wettas have operated a pizza business in Tonganoxie for 17 years. They started in a former greenhouse building on West Fourth Street near U.S. Highway 24-40. Twelve years ago, they built the building that now houses Mo's Pizza and Mr. Goodcents.

Since then their lives have been in high gear. Emmett has worked full time at PQ Corp., a chemical plant in Kansas City, Kan. And Marlo has run the restaurant, sometimes working up to 70 hours a week. The couple also have six children, five of whom were born during the years they've operated the pizza restaurant.

"Seventeen years -- the tank was getting on empty," Emmett Wetta said Tuesday. "It was just like having another baby -- you had to take care of it 24-7."

Emmett said the land they selected to build their restaurant turned out to be a good location. It was across from the grocery store and near what was then a bowling alley.

But more practically, Emmett said of site on which they chose to build: "It was the right price."

Marlo has brought her children up in the restaurant, which in its early years was a Gambino's pizza shop.

"We'll miss everybody," Marlo said.

She noted Emmett had been sick lately and the change would give her time to be with him. Also, with their children older -- the youngest is 5 -- Marlo will be able to return to college and finish her degree.

And though she can leave the responsibilities of running a restaurant behind, it's bittersweet.

"I'll miss being able to work in the same town with my kids and being able to take care of the family and work -- always being there for them when they needed something," Marlo said. "And I will miss seeing everybody that you see regularly -- and just knowing what's going on all the time."

The Bullfrog Grill, a downtown Tonganoxie restaurant, closed last week. The Mirror was unable to reach the owners.

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