TIPP CITY — After 29 years in operation, Tipp O’ the Town Family Restaurant will close its doors on New Year’s Eve.
Owner Paul Loubier said the decision to close the Tipp City mainstay is “bittersweet,” but that the time is right for him to retire.
“I’m old,” Loubier, 66, said. “It’s a tough business … I’m ready to retire.”
There are two possible futures for the Tipp O’ the Town property, Loubier said.
The likeliest scenario is that the property will be the future location of a new Taco Bell. Loubier said he has an agreement with the company that owns the Tipp City Taco Bell, which has the first claim on buying the site.
“My understanding is the (Taco Bell) catty-corner from us across the highway from us is going to move here,” he said.
If for some reason that deal falls through, Loubier said an unnamed individual has expressed an interest in buying the restaurant and operating it under the same name.
“I’m closing Dec. 31 no matter what,” he added.
Loubier said he intends to spend more time relaxing with his family and enjoying the family’s lake house.
“It’s time to take some time off,” he said, although he doesn’t expect he’ll relax too long. “After working 50-70 hours a week for pretty much all of my life, having nothing to do will drive me crazy. Heck, I tell people I could just be a greeter at Walmart for that matter.”
He first got into the restaurant business in college, where he studied psychology. After graduation, a Dunkin Donuts where he’d worked his way up to management made him a better job offer than one he’d received in his field of study. He worked for Wendy’s for several years before deciding to open his own restaurant.
In 1988 when the restaurant opened, his three children were under the age of 10. He said his youngest doesn’t remember a time before the family owned Tipp O’ the Town.
“We’re probably all going to be here on the final day,” Loubier said of his children and wife. “We’ll probably all sit in the corner and thank people. Say goodbye. That’s when it will hit me.”
Loubier said he will miss his restaurant crew, some of whom have worked for him as long as 25 years, and many longtime customers.
“They’re a great crew and they do a great job for me. They’re the ones that have made me so successful. I may have had the ideas, but they’re the ones that put them into motion,” he said. “We’re going to miss seeing them every day and hearing about their kids growing up.”
Loubier said he’s seen generations of some families as customers through the years and he will miss seeing them regularly.
“We’re working on our fourth generation of customers,” he said. “We’re going to miss them.”
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