SIZZLER fans have been dealt a blow with the Cleveland restaurant said to be closing down towards the end of the year.
It is not bad news for Mexican food fans though with Taco Bell – which has only one other Queensland store – expected to replace the family restaurant.
Sizzler owner and Australian Taco Bell rights holder Collins Foods has applied to build the drive-through fast food outlet on the Sizzler site.
Speculation about Sizzler’s demise has boosted visits by loyal and new customers.
Manager Rochelle Kelly said they had been busier than usual recently.
“It’s because people are thinking this could be their last meal at Sizzler,” she said.
“Our regulars are asking staff if there is any way to stop it from closing… because they say there is no place like this.”
Ms Kelly said some customers were visiting for the first time. “The first thing we have to do when greeting customers is ask if they have been here before and lately we’ve found one in five people haven’t dined at Sizzler before,” she said.
“Even though school holidays help business, we usually get around 220 people coming on a Tuesday night but (lately) we are serving more than 300 people each day.
“Last night (Thursday), we hit 350 people and we only get that on Saturdays or Mother’s Day.”
Manly resident Kirsty Johnston took her daughters Charlotte, 8, and Piper, 3, to Cleveland’s Sizzler for lunch on Friday.
“This was Piper’s first visit but we went because it wasn’t going to be here for too long,” she said.
“It was just like the old days when I was a kid and used to come here ... It brings back many memories so I’ll be sad to see it go.”
A Taco Bell Australia spokesperson said their first outlet at Annerley had proven that Australians had a huge appetite for the brand.
“We hope the good people of Cleveland and the Redlands area will greet Taco Bell with open arms and hungry bellies,” the spokesperson said.
On the Redland City Bulletin’s Facebook page, Benjamin James Hughes said he would take Taco Bell over Sizzler any day.
“I love Taco Bell, this beats driving to Annerley,” Bec Richardson said.
The deadline to comment on the application is July 20.