A POPULAR Alcester restaurant will be changing hands after 26 successful years of trading.

Meb Hussain, owner of the Cellar Restaurant & Bar, in Market Place, recently broke the news to customers saying there is more to life than money.

He said he is selling as he is unable to dedicate sufficient time due to family and his other business.

"I have decided to forgo the lure of money to concentrate on family commitments, having provided 26 years of service to Alcester and the surrounding area," Meb said.

"I'm having to spend lots of time abroad and lately I've been struggling to make time for the Cellar due my overseas commitments, my property business in Sutton/Brum and of course a growing family.

"The Cellar has been a fantastic hobby as well as a fantastic business thus this decision has been very hard. As we all know there's more to life than just money."

He said that he has sold the restaurant to friends who will run it as a family-oriented modern Italian.

Meb said the decision to sell came from a heavy heart.

"Running a successful restaurant is very rewarding but also very time consuming, with weekends away from children," he said.

"Some of us have grown up together and seen our children grow up too, and I look forward to keeping in touch. I still have my house in Alcester and will continue to be in the area. My chef of 25 years will transfer to another family restaurant. His dedication and professionalism goes without saying."

The cellar will close for refurbishment after a final farewell night on Saturday, August 3.

It is hoped it will re-open in September as an Italian.