Top Shropshire chef to call it a day on popular town restaurant after 33 years
The chef at a leading Shropshire restaurant is calling an end to service after more than three decades at the helm.
The owners of Sebastians Restaurant With Rooms, in Oswestry, are set to bid a fond farewell to customers after announcing its closure as a restaurant at the end of the year.
Chef patron Mark Sebastian Fisher will be closing his restaurant doors on New Year's Eve.
It comes after Mark and his wife, Michelle, decided it was time to step down, but have confirmed the bed and breakfast will continue.
Commenting on the decision to close, Mr Fisher said: "We have been here for 33 years, I'll be 65 next year.
"I think one of the main reasons is that our three children have had to work here, practically since they were born, and they are at a time where they all have full-time jobs – and we want them to go and do their own thing.
"Costs are going to be crippling for restaurants next year, so I think you will find a lot of restaurants will be closing."
Mr Fisher said there is a chance the restaurant could reopen at a later time, but for now it is time to slow down.
Another reason for closing the restaurant, Mr Fisher added, was down to losing his ability to taste and smell after contracting Covid.
"I lost all sense of taste and smell due to Covid and now I'm reliant on other members of family and staff before we send food out."
Sebastians is now fully booked until the end of the year and has a waiting list of approximately 150 people.
From the New Year onwards, the restaurant will no longer be opening on a weekly basis and will just offer accommodation and breakfast.
Sebastians has enjoyed two AA Rosettes, two forks in the Michelin guide, places in various guides including The Good Food Guide and five-star reviews on Trip Advisor.
Customers and the local community have taken to Facebook to bid farewell to the restaurant and share memories of their visits.
Sally Stewart wrote: "I've only ever been once and it was lovely, tried to get a table many times but you're always fully booked which is frustrating but also fantastic for business.
"I'm sure you'll be deeply missed as there is very little outstanding places to eat in Oswestry. Enjoy your semi retirement."
Deb Lovell said: "Thank you for looking after us all over the past 20 years.
"It has, and will remain our favourite place to celebrate with loved ones at special times in our lives. We look forward to hearing your plans for the future."