"Dear Sizzler: it's over. After all these years, it's really over".

Last year, hearts around the nation broke when the parent company of Sizzler, Collins Foods, announced the restaurant chain was no longer “core” to its strategy and was therefore not being allocated any more growth capital.

Reports this week indicate the 22 remaining Sizzlers — located in QLD, NSW and WA — have their days numbered. Collins Foods chief executive Graham Maxwell told the company would “continue to monitor our remaining restaurants closely and take appropriate action where necessary”.

In other words, get your Sizzler hit while you still can. In the meantime, we’re taking a moment to remember the good times (and the cheesy toast):

An open letter to Sizzler, my lost love.

I can’t believe it’s over. After all these years, it’s really over.

I’ll never forget our first dinner date back in 1993. I didn’t eat for hours in advance, so keenly did I anticipate our meal.

I remember driving into the suburban mall, clocking the restaurant venue apprehensively at first. It was louder and more brightly-lit to something I’d have chosen myself. But you were warm and open, and the ensuing hours passed in the sort of happy blur only the young and falling-in-love can truly encounter.

Your energy was infectious, and we spent many evenings together in the ensuing months, each more deliciously exciting than the last.

“Bittersweet memories. That is all I’m taking with meeeee….” (post continues after the gallery):

In my developing years, you became a comfort to me. Once, I became so comfortable I fell gently asleep in your presence (right on the carpet, but you were never the judgemental type).

Our relationship ebbed and flowed.

I hated you for a moment, once. You introduced me to jalapeño peppers; young and naive as I was, I thought they were gherkins. The shock brought tears to my eyes — but you wooed me back with soft-serve topped with sprinkles and nuts. It soothed the cruel burn until I forgave you. (To this day, sprinkles will always remind me of you.)

I defended you to a friend once — she found you sickening and falsely sweet, while I found her snobby — and you rewarded me by teaching me of previously untold pleasures: Glorious chocolate mousse, fluffy and drizzled in dark syrup.

Cheese toast: Many have experienced your heavenly taste. (Photo: Facebook)

But for years now, we’ve been drifting apart.

The cracks were subtle at first: My devotion to you faltered, just slightly, when my friend asked you for assistance with employment and you didn’t help her out. (You broke her little teenaged heart, did you know that?)

A part of me still found you irresistible, but I learned I wasn’t the only one charmed by your magnetism. The fact you weren’t just mine any more eroded your old, familiar appeal.

Then I developed more mature tastes, and I stopped visiting you while I spread my wings. And I admit it: I’m different now. I’m married to a man who takes me to fancy restaurants (and he never did like chocolate mousse).

I’ll never forget the salads we shared. (Photo: Facebook)

I do ask after you from time to time. When I heard a lady tried to sabotage your salad with poison, I could have cried. Subsequent rumours that you were struggling financially, that you had lost your way, that your effortless popularity was waning left me gutted.

And today, I heard the news: It’s over for good. After 12 years, we’ll never see each other again.

Sizzler, I’ve loved you for so long. Now your cheese bread and all-you-can-eat sundaes are no longer.

Farewell, old friend. I’ll never forget your chocolate mousse.

For those who can’t bear the pain of separation, here’s a handy guide to making your own cheesy toast at home:

Video via Greg's Kitchen

What’s your favourite memory from Sizzler?

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