MEMORY LANE: Popular Tweed restaurant shuts its doors
IT DIDN'T matter what the restaurant was actually called, locals just said they were going to 'Marty's'.
And so, for Marty and Wendy Waters' business of the last 12 years, the name just stuck.
Marty's at Caba has hosted almost every celebration you can think of but now the local staple has toasted to its final milestone.
The bar and restaurant, renown for its great pizzas and live music, closed its doors for good on Sunday.
The laughter, tears and cheers have come to an end but the memories will live on for Wendy as an embodiment of her late husband.
Marty, who touched many in the Tweed through his jokes and culinary skills, tragically died in his sleep last year.
Wendy and Marty had 27 years together.
They shared their love of hospitality from the very moment they met when Marty, a motel chef, asked out the pretty waitress, Wendy, at a pub just out of Stanthorpe.
Now, celebrating a year on from his death Wendy said, sadly, the time had come for her to retire from the business.
"On the last night, it was really great. It was a good send off," she said.
"It was booked out, and they played Marty's favourite song (Tennessee Whiskey).
"My apologies to those we had to turn away because of COVID restrictions."
Almost 24 years ago, the Waters operated the business next door to what was Martys and operated Delectables for three years.
But Marty always had his eye on the restaurant space next door.
Some years on while operating another business in Pottsville - Cottage on Coronation - the Cabarita space went up for lease and he had his chance.
Marty's at Caba remained one of the only places you could eat kangaroo and crocodile in the Tweed until closing day.
It's been a family affair, Wendy's grandson Jake Finn worked the kitchen, while granddaughter Tylah Finn was behind the bar and helps with the books.
"I was the maitre' d, but now I'm the COVID marshall," Wendy said with a laugh.
"COVID has been hard but the whole year has been hard right from 11 months ago when Marty passed away."
She said one of her favourite memories was after supporting the local musicians for years, the musos held an all-day extravaganza for free to help boost business in hard times two years ago.
"I just remember him (Marty) bantering with everyone. In the kitchen he would be playing tricks or flicking people with a towel and he would come out and make jokes with the guests - bad jokes mainly," Wendy said.
"He could be a little bit rough around the edges - his favourite was 'if you don't like it go to McDonalds'.
"We have had locals who have been coming here the whole 12 years. It is nice to know he touched so many lives."
Wendy now plans to relax at her new unit in Hastings Point.
"I will be sad to leave here and sad to leave all the locals who love the place," she said.