This may be goodbye, but the pub will go on...
THE historic Sandy Creek Pub will farewell a friendly face, when long-time publican Gary Little hands over the barman's tea towel.
Mr Little still doesn't know exactly when he'll be pouring his last beer, but after serving 13 years behind one of Warwick's oldest bars his face is sure to be missed.
The Sandy Creek Pub has been the centre of many a family occasion, and Gary has enjoyed watching the generations pass by.
"Some of the patrons were coming here when they were 6 or 7 years old and now they're 18 and they're back bringing their girlfriends and boyfriends,” said Mr Little.
Mr Little said the beloved establishment will be safe in the hands of new owners Kev and Karen Kiley of Noah's Thoroughbred Pig Races.
Mr Kiley has been a loyal patron of the Sandy Creek Pub for more than eight years, and is excited to experience life on the other side of the bar.
"I think it's a fantastic meeting place if people just want to come out and have a yarn.. it's a very relaxing atmosphere type of pub,” Mr Kiley said.
He puts it all down to Gary's personality.
"Gary is a champion... every time I go out there he's exactly the same. He's jovial, he's good for a laugh.”
The historic pub, more formally known as the Darling Downs Hotel has been around since the early 1900s and Mr Kylie reckons it offers some of the best food money can buy.
"Travelling from Cairns to Hobart with the pigs means that I eat out a travelling from Cairns to Hobart we eat out a lot and this is the best feed you'd come across anywhere,” Mr Kylie said.
He said everything on the menu is great, but you can't go past the chops and steak.
And despite the new owners, patrons can still expect the same quality service and icy cold beer, as Mr and Mrs Kylie plan for a seamless takeover.
Mr Little plans to retire on the Sunshine Coast where he will be closed to his daughters and grandchildren.
And while the pub holds some tragedy for Mr Little, with the death of his wife and mother, there are also some proud achievements to look back on.
The Sandy Creek Pub has donated a phenomenal $60,000 to local charities LifeFlight and the Wheatvale School from pig racing proceeds over the past eight years.
"That's something I'm pleased that the pub has been able to contribute,” Mr Little said.
Mr Kiley will continue the tradition of supporting local charities.
The last of the paperwork is yet to be finalised, but the takeover is due to take place over the next week.
And while Mr Little is not one to give advice, he says as long as you stay true to your customers, you'll be right.
"Just be good to your customers and learn how to listen and not talk,” Mr Little said.
"I just hope that it goes on and gets better and better.”