OTTAWA -- After 16 years, La Porto A Casa in Barrhaven is closing its doors.

In a post on Facebook, Caroline and Ozzie Rossie announce the restaurant serving authentic Italian food on Fallowfield Road will close on March 20.

"Over the past couple of weeks everyone keeps asking if COVID is the reason we are closing,” the post reads. “In truth if the past year had not happened, I would not be writing this.

"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."

Love Always, Caroline and Ozzie

Posted by La Porto A Casa on Wednesday, February 17, 2021

La Porto A Casa opened in 2005.

"To our staff … there are no words. We love you all so very much," said the statement. "Thank you for sticking with us through the good times and the bad."

According to La Porto A Casa's website, the original idea for the restaurant was "take home food."

"We had fridges full of take home sauces and fresh pasta, hence the name La Porto A Casa, which means 'Bring it home.'

"The feedback was strong and everyone wanted a great, welcoming atmosphere to dine in so after six months, the fridges disappeared and the eat in restaurant took over."

La Porto A Casa is the latest in a series of restaurants to close in Ottawa during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some other restaurants that have closed are Allegro Ristorante, Pressed on Gladstone, the Fish Market Restaurant, Tuckers Marketplace, The Highlander, Stoneface Dolly's, Don Cherry's Kanata, DiVino and the Wellington Eatery.