Chef-owner Pierre Chauvet at La Fourchette in 1998, when he'd already been in the kitchen there for 20 years. The restaurant is closing next month. (Dayna Smith/The Washington Post)

After 38 years, owners Pierre and Jacqueline Chauvet are closing the doors of La Fourchette.

The couple closed the deal on the sale of the building that houses their French restaurant and home on Friday, according to their son, Laurent Chauvet. He said the new owners have plans to open an eatery in the space, though details weren't immediately available.

The Chauvets are planning to shut down their Adams Morgan mainstay on June 11. The French natives first came to Washington when Pierre Chauvet was hired as the chef at the Dutch Embassy. He also served as a personal chef to late Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham, a gig that launched the Chauvets into the orbit of presidents and other luminaries.

Since 1978, they have operated La Fourchette, where Pierre Chauvet has served as chef and his wife as hostess and manager of most of its operations.

"Everybody knows my dad's food, but everyone knows my mom," Laurent Chauvet said. He and his brother, Pierre-Gaspard, have also pitched in at times since their youth.

Laurent Chauvet said his parents were ready to retire, his father having spent about six decades behind a stove. They intend to stay in the apartment above the restaurant for about a year, with a trip to France planned for this summer.

"They haven't taken a vacation together in 25 years," Laurent Chauvet said.

La Fourchette, 2429 18th St. NW.

From the archives:

Fearlessly French

1996 Dining Guide: La Fourchette

District Dining: La Fourchette