Pizza Nola in Lakeview will close in March, the restaurant announced Monday.

Its last day will be March 11, though co-owner Will Samuels said in a release that he plans to sell king cakes at the location during the next Carnival season.

In the meantime, Samuels said he's seeking another restaurant to occupy the address. 

“It is with a heavy heart that we must make this decision,” Samuels said. "We have had a good seven-and-a-half years, but we must realize that financially we are unable to keep the restaurant operating under the current economic climate. After a slow second-half of 2017, we were counting on a much bigger financial boost from this Carnival season to get us back on track. Unfortunately, we did not get that."

The neighborhood pizzeria, part of Lakeview's West Harrison Avenue commercial corridor, developed a following that went well beyond pizza pies. During Carnival season, it had a dual identity as a distribution point for king cakes from Dong Phuong, the Vietnamese-style bakery in New Orleans East that has won broad acclaimed for its cakes.

Pizza Nola hosted an annual Carnival Kickoff party to celebrate Twelfth Night, and the start of king cake season, and as Mardi Gras approached it became common to see customers queued in line for the popular Dong Phuong king cake. 

This year, however, Dong Phuong faced run-away demand for its cakes and, two weeks before the end of a short Carnival season, stopped distributing them beyond its own bakery on Chef Menteur Highway.   

Pizza Nola was also known for its annual "Sharknado" parties, which were like mini block parties inspired by the over-the-top shark flick.

Samuels said he planned to resume king cake sales at the restaurant for Carnival season 2019.   

Pizza Nola

141 W. Harrison Ave., 504-872-0731

Slated to close March 11, 2018

Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter, @IanMcNultyNOLA.