About a year after celebrating its 50th anniversary, a beloved pizzeria and restaurant in Lexington, Kentucky, is up for sale.

Joe Bologna’s opened in 1973 after the owner, Joe Bologna, came home from serving in the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam, where he was a cook. The food at the restaurant was derived from his grandmother’s recipes and Bologna’s time cooking in Vietnam and at fast-food restaurants, according to a Kentucky Kernel article about the pizzeria’s 50th anniversary.

Now the restaurant is up for sale. Bologna, who turns 79 next month, had intended to quietly sell the restaurant so he could retire. Instead, word leaked to the public on social media via an employee, forcing Bologna to clarify his intentions.

Related: After 20 Years in Business, ‘Planet-Saving’ Pizzeria Abruptly Shuts Down

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Bologna posted a notice of his plans to find somebody to buy the restaurant. He told them if he didn’t find a new owner by August 1, he intended to shut the restaurant down altogether.

Bologna said he regretted that the news broke the way it did and let his loyal patrons know he will still be in business for up to five more months. He also told the Herald-Leader that he’s currently entertaining several offers and will confer with his accountant to choose the best one soon.

“I plan on selling to someone who will keep it the way it is,” he added.

Bologna’s restaurant is known for pizza, breadsticks and other Italian favorites that are served in a historic building that once served as a Jewish synagogue. The building is replete with classic hallmarks, like its stained-glass windows, and sits on the University of Kentucky’s flagship campus. Many a student and student-athlete has eaten and worked at the restaurant during its five years of existence. Actress and legendary UK alum Ashley Judd is said to have been a hostess at Joe Bologna’s.

But most of all, the restaurant is known for Bologna himself. Clad in his trademark suspenders, he became a fixture in the community due to his longevity, delicious food and community-minded approach to business. In a 2016 video interview with PMQ, Bologna talked about the annual Italian buffet he prepares for the homeless population of Lexington.

A frequent customer told the Kentucky Kernel that Bologna was “inviting,” unchanged after decades of success, and a “sweetheart.” She pointed to the work he has done with hospice volunteers in Frankfort, Kentucky.

In all likelihood, Bologna will find a buyer and the restaurant will live on. Still, it will be difficult for the community to say goodbye to their beloved pizzaiolo.

Marketing, Pizzerias