LINCOLN SQUARE — Dolce Casa owner Ross Outten has pulled the plug on his Damen Avenue cafe, effective Monday.
"A variety of reasons make this the right time for me to make a change," Outten wrote in a note taped to Dolce Casa's storefront, 4947 N. Damen Ave.
Outten, a trained chef whose resume includes stints at North Pond and Bistro Campagne, bought the cafe in 2011.
"My wife and family have endured a lot over the last five years to support me while I pursued this endeavor," he wrote.
"My amazing and dedicated employees have stood by me, through good times and bad, and have been the beating heart of this place," Outten said. "My customers, friends, and neighbors have sustained me, and have been the life-blood of our little neighborhood cafe."
Citing plans to take time off and travel before deciding on his next venture, Outten also stated that he intends to remain a presence in the community, where he serves as board president of the Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce and has frequently offered up Dolce Casa as the host site for various fundraisers and events.
"I still love this neighborhood — that's never going to change," said Outten, adding that he and his family will continue to live just blocks from the cafe.
Catch Outten at Friday's inaugural Taste of Ravenswood, where he'll be on hand "to say goodbye to some friends and serve up some braised pork belly."
Outten did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.
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