Joe "Dixie" Fuller said he's done. He decided it's time to part with the family business.
After 106 years, the esteemed "meat and three" institution Zarzour's at 1627 Rossville Ave. in Chattanooga is up for sale.
"I've decided to sell my house and Zarzour's as well. I feel like both properties have run their course," Fuller said in a social media post.
Fuller's great-grandfather, Charles Zarzour, immigrated through Ellis Island from Lebanon and eventually purchased the restaurant for $1,000 in 1918.
Even though it's classified as a meat and three style cafe with home-style staples like open-faced roast beef sandwiches and peach cobbler, Hamburger America author and host of "Burger Land" George Motz crowned Zarzour's as home to Tennessee's best hamburger.
From reading deeper into his social media message, it seems Fuller never really recovered after the death of his wife, Shannon, due to stage 4 lung cancer on Feb. 21, 2022.
In interviews, Fuller graciously praised Shannon for keeping Zarzour's afloat through the best of times and the worst, including the pandemic.
As Fuller concluded his heartfelt message, he had a laundry list of people to thank, including "everyone who has ever worn an apron as part of the Zarzour's team."
As of right now, my biggest regret since becoming the food writer here at the Chattanooga Times Free Press is that I was too busy eating fried whiting at Uncle Larry's to ever get a chance to have a burger at Zarzour's before something unfortunate like this happened.
Hypothetically, even if the new owner somehow keeps the name, its flea market-chic decor or even its meatloaf with creole sauce, we all know that with Fuller's departure, Zarzour's will never be the same. We also know that nothing lasts forever.