Rozanne and Gerard Caronello say that Dec. 19 will be the last night after 38 years for La Bonne Auberge, their classic French restaurant in a 250-year-old farmhouse off the main drag in New Hope, one of the few remaining dress-up spots in the region.

"It's my husband's knees," Rozanne Caronello said. "When I see him limping after work, I know we're doing the right thing." They took a three-week trip for their 40th anniversary recently, and she said they noticed a difference.

The couple began downsizing their operation last year, cutting staff and trimming their days to Thursdays through Sundays.

She said the crowd last Saturday night -- all regulars -- wept and begged the couple to reconsider, but their minds are made up.

They plan to convert the dining room into its former use as a residence, and sell the furnishings and liquor license next year.