After four-and-a-half years in business, Great Lakes Italian Restaurant has announced plans to close. The Fort Gratiot eatery is located in the former Pizza Hut building near the Pine Grove and 24th Avenue intersection. In a letter to the public, the owners said that they will be closing permanently on Saturday, February 15 at 10 p.m. The restaurant started as a pizzeria and eventually grew into a full-service Italian restaurant with a popular Sunday Brunch and catering options. In a statement to the public, the owners said they, “are deeply humbled by the loyalty of the guests who now feel like family,” and have “agonized over how to say goodbye” to customers. The building, equipment, and liquor license are being offered for sale or lease to prospective entrepreneurs. In keeping with Great Lakes Italian’s tradition of community engagement, leftover food is intended to be donated to local charities. Great Lakes Italian has also offered to buy back any unused gift cards until the end of February.