After fifteen years in Bethel, sadly, Rizzuto's Wood Fired Pizza Kitchen and Bar has closed its doors for good.

If you've ever eaten at Rizzuto's, you know that every single time, you always got a great Italian meal -- and let's not forget that his famous meatballs were the best around.

After we saw a post on the restaurant's Facebook page, stating that Rizzuto's decided not to renew their lease and have now closed their Stony Hill Road location, we reached out to the owner, Bill Rizzuto. He opened up to us about his difficult decision to close the restaurant:

"Our lease expired, and it was a decision of whether I wanted to re-up for another five years or not. I'm 58 years old and I'm really looking to simplify my life a little bit, and there are other things I'd like to pursue," said the longtime local business owner. "It was a blend of business and personal reasons. We operate two other restaurants in Connecticut, and over the last few years. I had to pass up some really good opportunities. I needed a little more flexibility in my life. That, coupled with the fact that the resurgence in Bethel is happening more in the downtown area than on Stony Hill Road, and we're not there in the heart of things. The bottom line is about my family. I discussed things with them and we all felt the time was right to move forward."

In his Facebook post, he thanked all his loyal customers and staff and said Bethel will always be a special place.

I raised my children there, coached many great kids, made many dear friends. I have always taken pride in being most generous supporting our community, whether it was local baseball, our schools, or most anyone who asked for help.

There is a bit of good news, however. If you happen to be holding a Rizzuto's gift card, Bill said they will be honored at either one of his Westport or West Hartford locations.