Cannova's was founded in 1921 by Anthony Cannova, a native of Sicily. Originally located in Freeport, Illinois, it featured a grocery store in the front and a pizzeria-tavern in the rear. After serving in the Pacific in WWII, Anthony's son Frank returned to run the business and moved it to its present location in 1964. Frank transferred primary control of the Freeport restaurant in 1983 to his daughter Linda and her husband Patrick. Cannova's continues to make Frank's original recipes of pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, fresh bread and pizza dough.
The signature items of Cannova's are the Classic Pizza, which was featured in the December issue of Pizza today as a "Pacesetter" of the Midwest; the alfredo sauce which includes Asiago, Romano and Parmesan cheese and the House Salad Dressing which was developed by Anthony. We hope you come and join us for a special evening, you'll be glad you did.
Restaurant profile: Cannova’s
By Jim Collar
Post-Crescent staff writer
What it is: Don’t rely on your pre-conceived notions of a pizzeria.
The “fine Italian dining” portion of the name might better describe the elegant, yet welcoming environment of Cannova’s.
An exposed brick wall serves as the background to an antique bar. Exposed ductwork hangs above the diners, yet below an antique pressed metal ceiling. Weekend diners are often treated to a musician behind the restaurant’s baby grand piano.
Debbie Rasmus said they hoped to create a dining experience to suit just about anyone.
“It’s a very comfortable, inviting atmosphere,” she said. “You’d feel comfortable bringing the kids or just as comfortable if you’re going on a date.”
Families can share in the stand-by pepperoni and sausage pizza, while those searching for new flavors can choose from a list of gourmet specialties. Still, those out for a night on the town have plenty to choose from with a full menu of Italian entrees.
It’s a family business, and it was well established before the Rasmus’ opened their doors in 2005.
Debbie Rasmus’ grandfather, Sicily native Anthony Cannova, began the family restaurant tradition in Freeport, Ill. in 1921. The restaurant takes pride in its family recipes and focuses on the homemade — from breads and crusts to sausage and sauces.
On the menu: Pizza is the main attraction, and Cannova’s provides plenty of flavors to suit both the finicky and the adventurous.
Daily specials are also available that stray from the Italian dishes featured on the everyday menu.
What to wear: Casual is fine. In fact, come in whatever makes you feel comfortable. Kyle Rasmus said it isn’t uncommon in the summer to see businessmen in jackets and ties seated near boaters in their shorts and T-shirts.
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday, from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m.
Reservations: No, though Cannova’s would like call-ahead notice for larger groups.
Smoking: Not in the restaurant, though smokers can use the patio.
Italian Restaurant, Pizza Place, Bar
Convient pour les groupes Convient aux enfants Tables d'extérieur Emporter Service de table La réservation n'est PAS obligatoire
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