After 16 years in business, La Porto A Casa, a much-loved Italian restaurant in Barrhaven, will shut March 20 following a year of enduring the pandemic’s hard knocks.
“If the past year had not happened, I would not be writing this,” co-owner Caroline Rossi wrote in the restaurant’s farewell message, posted Wednesday on Facebook.
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La Porto A Casa, a beloved Italian restaurant in Barrhaven, to close in March Back to video
“The past year has definitely taken its toll on us and so with our lease coming up for renewal, we decided that we just need a break,” she wrote. The post does not say what Rossi and her husband Ozzie, La Porto A Casa’s chef and co-owner, plan for the future.
The mom-and-pop eatery in a Fallowfield Road strip mall developed a legion of fans over the years who were won over by Ozzie’s old-school Italian comfort food, served in heaping portions, as well as the hospitality at La Porto, where the ambience included red-and-white checkered tablecloths and Dean Martin and Tony Bennett crooning on the sound system. In less than a day, Rossi’s Facebook message generated more than 550 click-based responses of love and support and more than 270 effusive comments. More than a few commenters called La Porto A Casa the best Italian restaurant in Ottawa.
Rossi wrote that since 2005, she and her husband were at the restaurant nearly every day, even on Sundays when La Porto was closed. “When we walk through the front door here, it is like we are walking into our second home.” she wrote. She thanked her customers for their kind words and for marking so many special occasions at the restaurant. She also thanked her mother and son for their unwavering support.
Since the novel coronavirus first disrupted life and business in Ottawa in March 2020, restaurants have been hobbled by restrictions that have included orders to close their dining rooms during lockdowns and limit their capacities when dining rooms were allowed to open. This year has seen several other notable restaurant closures in Ottawa, including Bar Laurel in Hintonburg and Central Bierhaus in Kanata.
This content was originally published here.