New Canaan eatery turns off grill for a final time

A New Canaan restaurant, famous for its hot-off-the-grill breakfast, announced Thursday it will close its doors after 38 years due to a steep rent hike.

NEW CANAAN - A New Canaan restaurant, famous for its hot-off-the-grill breakfast, announced Thursday it will close its doors after 38 years due to a steep rent hike.

Rita and Lou Molgano, the elderly owners of Lou's Kitchen, say with the ailing economy they cannot afford the rent hike from $1,500 to $3,000 a month - and nearly $4,500 with utilities.

An attorney overseeing the property says the rent hike is justified.

"Until 2005, their rent was basically $1,100. So for all those years, [the former property owner] was basically giving them the opportunity to build up a savings account of $20 to $25,000 a year," Ann Hannon, the property's manager, says.

Molgano says he will miss the kids and the regulars who come by.

"I don't want to go out," says owner Lou Molgano. "We've been here for 38 years."

Longtime customers say they will miss the family environment. Molgano says he always tried to cater to the community, especially the kids.

"I love all these people, all these kids, and now to go out that door and leave them- it hurts."

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