By Craig Marx, Editor
When the driver of a minivan fell asleep and barreled over the front landscaping of Two Angels Restaurant on May 5, no one would have imagined it could have been a blessing in disguise. For Jean Prince-Lipinski, it was an opportunity to make a great outdoor decoration even better.
The sports-themed train, repaired by Frank Lipinski and painted by Prince-Lipinski, provides a colorful and welcoming glow to the façade of the restaurant, exemplifying everything a sports nut in Antigo would most likely find interesting – Milwaukee Brewers, Wisconsin Badgers, Green Bay Packers, Antigo Red Robins, and even the Chicago Bears for those few lowly folk.
When the idea of making the train Antigo colors came to Prince-Lipinski, it was suggested that the entire line of cars be sports related, opening up what the current train’s painter said jokingly was, “a can of worms.”
The Bears portion of the train comes from Two Angels’ incredibly hospitable owner Enser Velijoski. After moving to the United States from Macedonia, Velijoski spent time first in Chicago before moving to Antigo. We’ll give the friendly restaurateur a pass for the navy and orange boxcar he represents.
The first train had existed undisturbed for 10 years before its derailing in early May. Bernie Coley, a local craftsman, created and built the original decorative railroad that so many patrons enjoyed. With the help of Waldvogel Landscaping, the façade and brickwork are back in place to help showcase the train of Wisconsite pride – with a little Illinois in there too.
A fun fact is that the No. 51 on the side of the Red Robin engine leading the way is in honor of Enser’s son, Fatih, as the number he wore playing football in high school.