LINCOLN SQUARE — After 25 years, La Bocca della Verita is bidding "ciao" to Lincoln Square.
Owner Liz D'Ortenzi, who opened the Italian eatery with her late husband Cesare, confirmed to DNAinfo Chicago that the restaurant is closing its doors Jan. 6.
For the past six years, La Bocca, located at 4618 N. Lincoln Ave., has been operating on a month-to-month lease with the building's landlord.
"They wouldn't renew," Liz D'Ortenzi said. "The landlord wants to do his own thing."
The issue came to a head when D'Ortenzi discovered that, in spite of keeping up her insurance premiums, her insurer wouldn't reimburse her for damages from a small fire in February.
"Insurance didn't cover anything because I don't have a lease," she said.
In the fall, La Bocca went BYOB when D'Ortenzi opted not to renew the restaurant's liquor license — a two-year commitment requiring a $5,000 outlay. Given the uncertainty of her lease, D'Ortenzi decided the cost of such a long-term investment was too steep.
Though La Bocca and its sidewalk cafe — tables brimming with bowls of pasta and glasses of wine — will no longer tempt passers-by on their way to and from the neighboring Davis Theater, D'Ortenzi intends to reopen nearby.
"I'm trying to purchase a commercial building a little west," she said. "I'm talking within blocks."
She promised to keep "old favorites alive" for loyal diners but added, "I'm going to maybe play around a little" with the menu — something she said anyone with a passion for cooking would do.
Fans can check La Bocca's Facebook page for updates on her next move, D'Ortenzi said.
Meanwhile it's business as usual at La Bocca, at least for the next week.
Asked whether she had any grand farewell celebration planned for Monday's final dinner service, D'Ortenzi replied: "I'm just going to treat it like any other day."