The Mona Lisa smile has turned to a frown in Nampa. The long-standing fondue restaurant announced on Oct. 26 via Facebook that it would be closing its doors on Saturday, Dec. 31.
“With the economy being so down we’ve been fighting for years and years and years,” explained The Mona Lisa co-owner Dustin Mori. “We lost our home through this thing. We’ve just been fighting for so long we just decided we need to do something else to pay our bills.”
A number of customers wrote in to express their concern on The Mona Lisa’s Facebook page:
“We are so sad to hear this! We visit every year on our anniversary, special occasions, and had a second wedding there,” wrote Kristen Weaver Dutcher. “Mona Lisa is by far our favorite restaurant here, for the food and the people! We will definitely miss you, but wish you luck on your other opportunities!”
“I would not be who I am today without you,” wrote Jamie Johs. “Thank you! I will miss you so much.”
“This makes me sad! Anxious to hear good news about your new adventure!” wrote Deborah McCall Black.
According to Mori, he and wife Angie are considering opening another restaurant in the Treasure Valley, but no definite plans have been made at this time.
“I know restaurants, I’ve been working in restaurants for forever … We’ve been here for 13 years now, that’s the direction I’m going but I don’t really know exactly what I’m going to do next,” said Mori.
In the mean time, The Mona Lisa will post rotating specials on Facebook each week in November, like “poor college student week” or “wine lover’s week.” Mori also encouraged couples to come pick up their remaining love letters.
“We have a bunch of people that have messages in a bottle here—it’s where people come in on their anniversaries and they write a love letter to each other and then we keep it here in a bottle and they come back on their next year … We have thousands of those still here so we’d like to have people come and get their bottles or get their messages and hopefully just eat while they’re here,” said Mori.