ONE of Toowoomba's best known restaurants and wedding venues is on the market for the first time in 12 years.
Gip's Restaurant and function centre is located in the historic Clifford House in Russell Street.
Built in 1860, the impressive manor and established gardens provide a unique setting for alfresco dining, weddings, corporate events and functions.
The 120-seat award-winning restaurant is housed in the area which was once the manor's billiard room.
Owners Jon and Julanne McCorley named the restaurant in honour of the Jack Russell dog, Gip, who was the much-loved pet of early settlers James and Sara Taylor and their nine children who lived in the manor from 1869.
The stone memorial to the dog, which was created by the family when he died in 1894, remains untouched on the western lawn.
Since opening the doors in 2000, Mr and Mrs McCorley have steadily developed the restaurant and function centre into the thriving business it is today.
"We fell in love with the idea of a restaurant amongst the trees as soon as we saw Clifford House and the expansive gardens," Mrs McCorley said.
"The last 12 years have been a wonderful experience as we've seen the restaurant and function centre grow and develop into a thriving business of which we're immensely proud," she said.
"But we are grandparents nowadays and we want to spend more time with our growing extended family."
Mr and Mrs McCorley hope the new owners will be full of youthful energy and enthusiastic ideas for the business.
"There is so much potential yet to be realised. It just needs new owners with a vibrant vision," Mrs McCorley said.
"We started the restaurant with one room and a small marquee.
"We now seat 120 guests in the alfresco restaurant and the same number in the James Taylor function room."
The venue has become a popular setting for birthdays, engagements, weddings, reunions, corporate functions and high teas and the busy 2012 booking schedule confirms this.
"The gardens are such a wonderful setting for the weddings and other special events we've hosted over the years," Mrs McCorley said.
"The historic building and gardens create an atmosphere that is splendid and unique."
"It will be sad to let it go but we are ready to pass the Gip legacy on to the next person."
For sale enquiries contact Brian Blechynden on 0400 744 375 or visit www.rwct.com.au/qld/toowoomba-city/723485.
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