LAVON, Texas – (CBSDFW.COM) – The battered old cowbell still hangs above the door at Big Daddy’s Roadside BBQ in Lavon, but soon it will go silent.

The savory smoke will begin to clear.

The restaurant will close for good on Sunday.

“It’s been 21 years, 7months and 6 days,” says owner Kelly Duncan. “I’ve had nothing but good memories.”

Duncan says when they first opened their doors at what is now a busy intersection of Highways 78 and 205, there was no nighttime traffic, the roads were deserted.

Big Daddy’s Roadside BBQ (Robbie Owens – CBS 11)

“After 6:00, when we look out the dining room window, there wasn’t no cars,” he insists with a laugh. “The only car we ever saw was the deputy sheriff making his rounds. That’s the truth!”

The growth that sprang up around them in later years brought more customers, but it’s also partly for blame for them closing their doors.

“It was just a matter of time before the property sold,” laments Duncan. “Sold to Racetrac. They’re going to build one of their Racetrac stations here.”

As word spread of the restaurant’s plans to close, Duncan has been kept busy serving up the barbecue that’s made then a neighborhood favorite and savoring the memories and friendships built over the years.

“Been a lot of good people over the years,” he recalls. “Our association with the high schools and local police and especially the Texas National Guard. We’ve gone down there and fed them before they go,  a lot of the kids, their last bbq meal before they got back from their tour of duty, that was nice.”

Big Daddy’s Roadside BBQ (Robbie Owens – CBS 11)

For now, Duncan insists he’s retiring.

“He’s worked hard,” adds his son Morgan. “He deserves it.”

So the plan now, is for the son to fire up the smokers again one day soon.

“Pretty much copying what we are doing here, and moving it a little farther east,” says Morgan.

“We’ve been able to work together all these years,” says his dad. “I couldn’t ask for a better ending. I’m not gonna look back. It’s been a good ride.”

Lavon is about 33 miles northeast of Dallas.

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