Efrain "Rico" Carrasco. Photo courtesy GoFundMe.com

UPDATE: Longtime waitress Donna Wall and her husband, Dick, have reopened the popular eatery in Freedom as Mama D’s Cafe. READ MORE.

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FREEDOM — Rico’s Family Restaurant in Freedom has closed permanently following the death last month of the owner.

“So sorry for the inconvenience but Rico’s is permanently closed,” read a notice posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “We cannot thank you enough for your continued support over the years.”

Anyone with questions is directed to email gorditocarrasco@gmail.com

Owner Efrain “Rico” Carrasco, owner of the Rico’s Family Restaurant group, passed away overnight on Oct. 12, 2021.

“Last night, Rico entered Eternity, and is now in the arms of the Lord,” read the announcement posted on Facebook about his death. “His impact on many of our lives is undeniable, and his words and actions will carry on in all of us as we live the love he shared with everyone around him.”

“He cared deeply about the people in this community, and was always working to make it a better place. We hope to continue his work, but we do not have more information about the restaurants at this time. We ask for respect for his family to mourn the loss of a Husband, Father, Brother, and Friend,” they said.

Ricos had grown to multiple locations at one point, including the one on Wisconsin Avenue in Kaukauna that opened in February of 2018. That location closed in February 2020.

The Appleton and Wrightstown locations also have closed following Carrasco’s death.

Despite Carrasco’s death, the restaurant went on with its annual Thanksgiving dinner.

The future remained unclear however, until today’s announcement.


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GoFundMe.com page has been set up to raise money to help with funeral and other expenses. READ MORE.

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By Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak, born and raised in Kaukauna, is cofounder of Kaukauna Community News.