Tony Packo's is as much of a Toledo icon as Jeep, the Mud Hens, and glassware. It's a distinctive symbol of this city's ethnic and working-class roots.
The company is in deep trouble now. Toledoans need not take sides in the dispute that threatens Packo's to want to see it saved.
After a court fight among Packo family members over control of the restaurant chain, a deal to rescue the company fell through last week. The company's would-be owner said a creditor bank had made excessive interest-rate demands.
Two top officials of the current ownership group are accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the company; they deny the charges. Packo's Inc.'s financial problems caused it to be placed into receivership. A judge could order a new auction or ask the company's court-appointed receiver to assign ownership to another bidder.
It's a sad and complicated saga of a company that has been part of Toledo's fabric for 79 years. Toledo needs Tony Packo's not just to feed its appetite, but also to nourish its soul.
The loss of any business is lamentable. But Toledo will be hurt especially hard if Packo's doesn't survive. If there's any way to save the company, now is the time.