Westport Pizzeria, a town staple for 51 years, will be closing down in 2020.

“If I don’t retire now, I never will, and I can’t be 100 and still working here,” owner Carmelo Mioli told WestportNow. “There are other things I want to do.”

The store was opened by Mioli’s brother, Joe Mioli, in 1968.

The news comes as something of a surprise. When the pizzeria’s current location — 143 Post Road East — was put up for sale in July, Mioli said there was no intention of leaving.

“We do this occasionally,” Mioli said in July. “Nothing is changed and we will be open to the public. The business is here to stay.”

The building, owned by Mioli, has been appraised at $969,400. It was sold to Mioli in 2012 for $812,500, according to real estate records.

Joe Mioli worked at the pizza shop until 2004 when he decided to run for state representative. He held the seat until 2012.

When the shop moved from its Main Street location in 2014, Joe Mioli, who sold his stake in the business when he ran for office, said it was tough to see the business change its longtime location.

"For me it's emotional," he said then. "We started the business together. Even though I come in and get a free lunch.”

Westport Pizzeria’s last day will be January 11.