- Associated Press - Friday, December 18, 2015

ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) - Top Spot, famous for the cow on the roof of its restaurant, will be closing its doors on Dec. 24, its owners recently announced.

Craig Barton, one of the owners, said the building Top Spot resides in was built in 1963 and acquired by his father in 1970.

“Four generations of my family have worked in and ran Top Spot,” Barton said. “Business has been good. Last year was one of the best I have had - but it is time to move on. I am getting old and want to spend time enjoying my family.”

Over the years, many residents in Cedar City got their start in employment at Top Spot and others worked there for long careers before moving on, Barton said.

“Every one of my kids have worked there, and I have grandkids working there,” he said. “It is hard to say how many, maybe a thousand, but every business owner knows it is the employees that make a business. It has been rough on that part because I have had so many employees that have developed into life-long relationships. The employees are the ones who made Top Spot truly successful.”

Employee Ester Halterman said she has only worked there for about three years but she will miss the camaraderie she developed with the customers.

“People are a little surprised,” Halterman said. “Everyone is wondering where the cow is going. But they understand Craig and Ann (Barton, co-owner) have worked hard at Top Spot for over 40 years and it is time for them to take some time off and enjoy their life.”

Craig Barton smiled when recalling the good old days when the cow on the roof was “cow-napped” about a dozen times.

“I lost count. It was always a group of high-school or college kids,” he said. “Back in the older days kids didn’t have iPods and technology so they had to create their own fun. There was never any harmful intent and we always got the cow back. One year it was down in St. George in front of Dick’s Cafe, one year it was sitting out in a pasture of other cows here in Cedar City. We always found it, though.”

Negotiations are under way with Brad Larson, the owner of Brad’s Food Hut in Cedar City, to purchase the building and possibly demolish it for a new establishment, Barton said.

Greg Larson, Brad’s brother, said the deal is not final and would rather have Brad handle media requests about future plans.

Brad Larson is currently out of town with family on vacation and could not be reached for comment.

___

Information from: The Spectrum, https://www.thespectrum.com

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