Cavalli’s closed after two years

The sign on Cavalli's front door indicating its sudden closure Oct. 25. (Photo by Leopold Knopp)

After two years in business, Cavalli’s Neapolitan Pizza has closed its location in Lewisville.

The pizza restaurant was the third location for the Irving-based pizza chain, which was established in 2007 by the Cavalli family. The store is known for making its own crust, cheese and sauces on-site with ingredients imported from Italy.

Rumors surfaced Wednesday night on social media that the store would be closing on Sunday. The company’s official Facebook page pushed back on them.

Cavalli Pizza responded to social media inquiries Wednesday night calling them unvalidated information and speculative, unfounded gossip.

Restaurant owner Chase LaFerney, who bought the pizza chain from the Cavalli family soon before the Lewisville location opened, said he’d held a meeting with staff Wednesday evening to inform them that Sunday would be the last day. LaFerney said he wanted to see who could staff a weekend sendoff, but once the rumors of a closure emerged immediately after the meeting, it became apparent that wouldn’t be possible.

“Even if we potentially could stay open, it would be stressful, and it wouldn’t be a good sendoff for us and people wouldn’t have a good experience when they came in,” he said. “My plan and my hope was to close on Sunday.”

LaFerney said he didn’t make the final decision to close the doors permanently until Thursday morning. He wrote a statement announcing the restaurant’s closure, thanking customers and encouraging them to support local businesses. Other locations remain open in McKinney and Irving. LaFerney said he is working to transfer the Lewisville Cavalli’s employees over to those locations, or help them get interviews for other restaurant jobs.

LaFerney said the city supported Cavalli’s with everything that could have been expected, but that the foot traffic wasn’t where it needed to be and described the recent spat of rain was the final nail in the coffin. He said that even if rent were completely free, the restaurant would not have been making enough money to cover staffing costs.

He said that he was optimistic that the area will be better for restaurants in the future.

“Old Town is still somewhat of a developing area, I think, and I’m super optimistic about what it will be in the future,” he said. “I think we were just a little early to the game.”

Cavalli’s was part of a trio of restaurants established on Church Street on the same lot, spanning between Charles and Herod, the others being Twisted Root Burger Company and Prohibition Chicken. Lewisville waived permitting and development fees and provided sales tax rebates and an upfront investment for parking for the development. The restaurants, along with J2 Steakhouse on Main Street, are part of the city’s push to turn Old Town into a Metroplex-wide destination.

We will update this story with more information as it becomes available.