End of an era: sSs BBQ Barns Tamworth set to close
For 27 years, a Tamworth husband and wife's business have been a staple of the city's restaurant scene.
Now, they're ready to hang up their aprons and start the next chapter of their life.
Graham and Marlene Manvell announced that sSs BBQ Barns Tamworth's final day would be February 29.
"It's been 27 wonderful years, and it's time to hang the boots up," he said.
"Marlene has been working the floor here and other restaurants for 40 years, and she is ready to have some nice nights beside the woodfire, and I don't want to do it without her.
"I will still do some overseas judging and keep a bit of a corporate job."
The inspiration for the paddock-to-plate BBQ restaurant came from their experiences while travelling.
"I thought it would be great in Tamworth to design something where people can relax, with a great country atmosphere and just good, real food like steak and ribs," Mr Manvell said.
"We also liked that local product was used in many restaurants from their province, so we started using the local product and growing our own as well."
Mr Manvell said he would never have imagined running sSs BBQ Barns for so long, as in the restaurant industry three to five years is considered "big-time".
IN OTHER NEWS:
He added that highlights included winning best-themed restaurant in Australia three years in a row, winning NSW's best steak restaurant, and building their very own community with regular customers.
In 2011, a fire spread damaging the building, and it took 18 months for the Manvells to rebuild.
"That was devastating, and we also lost a couple of family members through that period as well, so it was a really hard slog," he said.
"To be honest, I don't know if we ever got over that whole thing. We are looking forward to a break."
Mr Manvell said it would be tough saying goodbye to their loyal diners.
"A lot of our regular clients are family now, and leaving that will be the hardest part," he said.
"I just want to say thank you, Tamworth for all your wonderful support."
Mr Manvell said there are a few options for what happens to the business, but nothing has been locked in yet.
He added they locked in February 29 as their last day, however, and encourages Tamworth to come down and say "farewell", with bookings rapidly running out.