It’s tough to say what this iconic Boise restaurant is known for. Their lasagna is second to none, but the exterior of their business is home to a literal Boise icon. In just a few months, the building she stands outside will be vacant. 

On January 24, Cucina Di Paolo’s co-founder, Maryjean Wegner announced on the business’s Facebook page that she’s planning to retire and will close her family’s restaurant on April 27. Wegner co-founded the restaurant with her late husband, Paul, many years ago. The couple got their start by selling their lasagna at Boise’s Saturday markets. Eventually, the Skinner family (which currently owns The Flicks) helped Maryjean and Paul find their first brick and mortar location on Ustick.

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According to Maryjean’s post, they were at that location for seven years before it was sold. After the sale, they sublet the kitchen at the University Inn for seven years. Boise State eventually bought the property that used to be at 2360 and demolished it to expand campus. It’s where you’ll find the Micron Business and Economic Building today.

eBay/Dawee's Kakaput Store
eBay/Dawee's Kakaput Store
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After that, they moved into an old Maytag Laundry on Vista and inherited the Boise icon that we all know as Betty the Washerwoman. When Paul was alive, they would change her outfits every month like clockwork. The Wegners turned her into one of the Treasure Valley’s biggest philanthropists by selling a charity calendar of all of her different outfits. Over the years, Betty’s calendar raised thousands of dollars for local non-profits like the Idaho Food Bank, the Idaho Humane Society, Women’s and Children’s Alliance and Fuzzy Paws Rescues.  

Image via Google Maps
Image via Google Maps
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Paul passed away unexpectedly just days after his 60th birthday. Maryjean and their oldest son, Rob, decided to reopen in March 2021 with a smaller menu as a way to honor Paul’s legacy. She wants to make sure that she gets a chance to say goodbye to all of the business’s loyal customers from the 18 years, so she’ll stay open three more months.

More Restaurant Shake-Ups in Boise

The news comes just a few days after Gino’s in Meridian moved their permanent closure up by a month. You can read more about the abrupt closure HERE. 

Facebook/Gino's Italian Ristorante & Bar
Facebook/Gino's Italian Ristorante & Bar
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Bonefish Grill announced they were closing in BoDo just short of their sixteenth anniversary. A former employee shared on social media that the lease was up and the property management wanted to raise the rent. While it was less than ideal, the restaurant thought they had a new agreement in place only to have it fall through at the last minute. 

Facebook/Bonefish Grill
Facebook/Bonefish Grill
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Shortly after, our friends at BoiseDev learned that the same property company has signed a lease agreement with a new Tex Mex restaurant called El Tejano, which will move in next door in the old Ha’ Penny location that’s been empty since BoDo Barrelhouse closed in 2022. 

Image via Google Maps
Image via Google Maps
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Meanwhile over at the Boise Spectrum, O’Crab Cajun Seafood has been replaced by Country Bay Bistro. The Idaho Statesman reports that the menu will still include seafood boils, but will focus heavily on steaks, grilled fish and steamed seafood dishes.

KEEP READING: Businesses the Boise Area Lost in 2023

Each year we put together a running list of businesses that have closed in the Treasure Valley. This is the 2023 list. Did we miss one? Send us your tips HERE.

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

Businesses the Boise Area Has Lost in 2022

It's always tough saying goodbye to a business that has truly felt like an old friend. These are the businesses the Boise area has said goodbye to in 2022.

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

41 Treasure Valley Businesses We've Lost Since March 2020

The pandemic. Staffing issues. A struggling parent company. Deciding to re-brand. Those are all reasons over 40 local businesses called it quits over the last two years.

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

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