Virginia brothers die within days of COVID; the family maintains its legacy by reopening Italian restaurants

KING WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) – Local brothers have lost their lives to COVID-19, dying within days of each other, leaving their popular Italian restaurants without owners. Two locations of Anna’s Italian Restaurant & Pizza were forced to close.

The Saluda site quickly reopened, but the West Point site has been closed for almost a year. However, that changed on Wednesday.

The family restaurant has reopened with a lot of excitement and emotion.

Lunch and dinner were served for the first time since November 2020 at Anna’s in King William County, but with a new owner. Fabio Buffa lost his father and uncle to the virus, months before the vaccine was available.

Fabio Buffa continues their legacy by reopening the doors and inviting the community to dine with them again.

This is exactly what the residents of West Point did on Wednesday. Anna’s parking lot was packed and the patio was also filled with hungry customers like Amanda Coultrip ready to support their local business.

“It’s amazing! We’re so excited that Anna’s is reopening today,” Coultrip exclaimed. “We can support the community by coming to a place like this to have lunch and dinner and see family and friends. . “

The key word Coultrip said is family because that’s what Anna’s Italian Restaurant & Pizza is built on. Since the 1970s, the Buffa family have owned and operated several sites in Central Virginia, including Richmond, Chesterfield and Hopewell.

However, COVID-19 has taken a heavy toll on the family.

“It was the worst experience of my life,” said Fabio Buffa, choking back tears. “We have lost my father and my uncle.

Antonio ‘Joe’ Buffa was 68 when he contracted COVID-19 around Labor Day and his brother Geatano Buffa, 64, also contracted the virus. According to the family, the two had no underlying conditions and were put on ventilators in the hospital. The brothers died just twelve days apart in 2020.

“My uncle died on October 29 and my father on November 10”, explained Fabio Buffa. “The worst part of it all was the isolation. We were driving to the hospital, but we couldn’t see them.

Recalling memories, Fabio Buffa shared that his father and uncle were inseparable in and out of the kitchen. The Buffa family is made up of Sicilian immigrants who first landed in New York. However, with the market being too saturated with pizzerias, the family moved to Virginia to start their business.

Fabio Buffa’s grandfather taught the brothers how to make pizza and run a business. Joe Buffa owned the West Point location for years before his brother, Geatano Buffa, took over, so he could operate the Saluda location. Geatano Buffa also operated and owned Sergio’s in Brandermill in Chesterfield County.

Over the years, the brothers owned and operated various Anna locations, but when they passed away last year the Saluda and West Point locations closed. Fabio Buffa’s brother was able to commission the Saluda site in December, but West Point took longer.

“We tried to reopen this place,” Buffa said. “I always felt deeply connected to the place and still do. They were both very popular in the community and it was very important that no one else came to do what we are doing here.

The reopening presented many challenges for Fabio Buffa. He says navigating the pandemic, supply chain shortages and grieving loved ones has been difficult, but he stayed strong and felt it was now his calling to move on administrative duties at the company. to the proud owner of Anna in the town of West Point.

“It was difficult and painful, but I believe in my heart that they despise us all and that they are together, happy that we are doing this on their behalf,” exclaimed Fabio Buffa.

In loving memory, the reopening ended with the hoisting of the Italian flag in honor of the deceased brothers. Fabio Buffa is also having a watercolor of the brothers installed in the restaurant, commemorating the dynamic duo.

Currently, Anna’s Italian Restaurant & Pizza in West Point is open seven days a week for take-out, curbside or on the patio. Fabio Buffa hopes to start eating indoors in January.

Hours are Sunday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

About Robert Davis

Check Also

Al Maya supermarkets launch promotion of Italian cuisine – News

The campaign was inaugurated by Giuseppe Finocchiaro, Consul General of Italy and Amedeo Scarpa, Italian …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *