IIC - Exterior  071113 lorezJill Inforzato and Roger Simpson have decided to close their Inforzato’s Italian Cafe after nearly five years in business on West Davis at Elsbeth.

“We woke up on Sunday and said we just couldn’t go on,” Inforzato writes in an email to the Advocate. “At close to 62, the thought of another … lease is too much of a commitment.”

The restaurant opened originally as Hula Hotties, specializing in dishes inspired by Hawaii, where Inforzato and Simpson lived for decades and where they started their line of Hula Hotties hot sauces before moving to Dallas.

They changed concepts about two years ago, inspired by Inforzato’s family heritage as Italian restaurant owners and encouraged by the popularity of the Hula Hotties spaghetti-and-meatballs lunch special.

Jill and Roger will host an open house at the restaurant starting at 5:30 p.m. Friday, July 12, with a free buffet and salad bar, plus live music from Roger, along with Robert and Sarah Aberg.

“We could not have asked for more awesome or faithful customers; they are the highlight of our business,” Inforzato writes. “Many of them have become our friends.”

She says they “already are getting other opportunities and options coming our way.” To stay in touch with them, email “subscribe” to InforzatosCafe@gmail.com.

As much as we liked the food at Inforzato’s and Hula Hotties, the real stars of the show were Jill’s pies, cakes, cookies and other sweets. Check out our video with her from 2010, sharing her grandmother’s recipe for California walnut chews.