AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Villa Europa has been the place “where friends meet” for the last 50 years.

But after discussions about the restaurant closing their doors, the owners are speaking out to clear the air.

“This restaurant means everything to me,” said owner Anneliese Neises. She’s been at the restaurant since it opened, and has been there for more than half of her life.

She adds, “It is my family, my friends I’ve made here over the years–they’ve become family.”

The restaurant has provided German and Italian cuisine to customers for decades.

But after seeing wear and tear on their longtime home, the restaurant could soon be closing it’s doors.

“This building has been around for 50 years. And yes you can do a lot of things to fix things up, but this place–you just can’t,” said Operations Manager Brittany Rose.

This all comes after a social media post stirred controversy in the community.

Rose says they have received a lot of phone calls from customers, wanting to know the full truth.

“People hear the word closing, and everyone kind of freaked out,” said Rose. “It’s gotten a lot of people coming and calling and reaching out to us, trying to figure out what’s going on. And we keep reiterating that we’re not closing officially. There is no end date in sight yet. But we know that it’s gonna come, sooner or later.”

Aside from the wear and tear on the building, General Manager Peggy Schaffer says this problem goes beyond the old structure.

“This part of town, I think the city’s kind of forgotten about us. So people drive through, it’s a lot of traffic–but they’re not stopping,” said Schaffer.

As for the future of the restaurant, Rose says they are searching for a new facility for Villa Europa. While no property has been confirmed, they have a few ideas in mind–and their hope is to stay here in Augusta.

“We know exactly where we would love to be. We have our number one spot, it’s just not quite available. So we’re looking at other options,” said Rose.

While they are in the process of looking for a new location, the plan is to operate out of their food truck if they were forced to close.

For the time being, there is no anticipated closing date.

However, Rose says the upcoming Oktoberfest will take place at their current building for the last time.

Those who are interested in attending can come to Villa Europa at Deans Bridge Road on Sunday, October 15th.