The Villa Europa Story
In 1964, a young man from ROME, Georgia, Kenneth H. TRAYLOR, decided with little money to start his own restaurant in an old building, at WARNER ROBINS (GA) and called it "PIZZA VILLA". He started his second place in 1966 in BRUNSWICK (GA) and hired, as Manager, French-born Fred OZANNE, who has ten years of food service behind him. Soon "PIZZA VILLA" became a prosperous Italian food chain of 13 units (two in Augusta among them) with main offices in ST. SIMON'S ISLAND (GA). Fred OZANNE was appointed General Manager in charge of food operations for the chain.
In early 1971, however, the founder chose to leave the food business and put all his restaurants for sale. In July, 1972, Fred OZANNE became the owner of the two Augusta units. In 1974, the Deans Bridge Operation was relocated to its present address with the adding of a cocktail lounge. In November of the same year, Mrs. Anneliese SCHAFFER-NEISES, a native of Germany, and also a food service professional, took over as Manager. German food and other international touches were then added to the menu.
In 1975, following the local market saturation by national pizza chains, Mr. OZANNE decided it was time to upgrade both operations, and changed the trade name to "ROMAN VILLA". In 1977, the Wrightsboro location was remodeled, brought from 56 to 100 seats and its menu was also expanded. Mrs. Anneliese SCHAFFER-NEISES was then placed in charge of the two operations as General Manager. The Deans Bridge store already refurbished and enlarged in 1980, underwent its most important and extensive remodeling, in 1985-86. It included expanding the bar, the addition of the Verandah room, and the name change to "VILLA EUROPA" in January of 1986.
To manage the growth spurred by the generosity of the community, Mrs. Neises' daughter, Patricia SCHAFFER, already well familiarized with food service intricacies, was promoted to the management staff. Since 1976, Ms. Schaffer has diligently worked every position in the restaurant. In 1988, in prevision of his retirement after 32 years in the restaurant field, Mr. OZANNE sold his Wrightsboro Road business and the name "ROMAN VILLA" ceased to exist.
October 1, 1989, the Deans Bridge business and property were, in turn, sold to Mrs. Anneliese NEISES and Patricia SCHAFFER, who continue to operate the restaurant under the same trade name of "VILLA EUROPA", as President and Vice-President of a newly formed Corporation. In June of 1993, the "Harmony Room" was carved out of existing storage space by good friend and master carpenter, T.C. Harmon. The elegant 50 seat dining room provided an often requested setting for rehearsal dinners, business functions, and holiday dinners.
With a long and solid food experience background in the same location, the Villa Europa team has pledged to carry on the founder's motto for quality and value. They continually strive to reevaluate their food, service, and atmosphere concepts, and put them in tune with modern trends, without compromising Gemuetlichkeit. We are proud to be able to name our hard working staff and loyal customers as friend, the formula for our success.