A well-known restaurant in downtown Bellingham is closing at the end of the week.
Niki Shannon has made the decision to close Cicchitti's Pizza, at 1427 Railroad Ave. The last day of business is Friday, March 29.
Shannon, the stepdaughter of founder Tom Cicchitti, said health issues that make it difficult for her to be at the restaurant every day were a factor in the decision to close.
The family has decided to pursue a different business route, operating a concession stand near the Shell gas station in Deming at 4985 Mount Baker Highway. They are also getting into the take-and-bake business, offering their pizza at a convenience store on North State Street, near Bellingham Fitness.
Shannon hopes that customers will stop in this week to say good-bye. The restaurant will be open regular hours through Friday.
"I know people will be sad, but I want them to know we will still be around," Shannon said. "We've also had some convenience stores interested in selling our pizza by the slice, so we're looking into that."
The Cicchitti pizza name has been around Bellingham for 30 years. Tom Cicchitti opened Cicchitti's East Coast Pizzeria on North State Street (where Rudy's Pizzeria is now) in 1983, after Uncle Aldo's went out of business. The eatery expanded into several locations in Whatcom County before the last one closed in Ferndale in 2006. Shannon purchased the business and reopened the restaurant on Railroad Avenue in the fall of 2006.