The Little Topar Roadhouse on the Barrier Highway in western NSW sadly closed its doors on Sunday after over 35 years in business, but owner Jo Lindsay has clarified that fuel will still be available for purchase.
Truckies driving past the iconic roadhouse, which is in a remote location between Broken Hill and Wilcannia, will be relieved to learn that they can fill up the tank 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Lindsay and her partner Kym Starkey ran the roadhouse for the past five years, after taking it over from legendary husband and wife duo Colin and Barb Harvey.
The Harveys were at the helm for nearly three decades before they retired, and the spot was very well known amongst truckies for its warm service, tasty meals and ample parking.
Lindsay told Big Rigs that she and Starkey had been struggling for almost a year before ultimately deciding to pull the plug.
“There were a lot of sleepless nights,” she said. “It was a massive decision, but it was the right decision.”
She explained there were two main factors that pushed them to close the business, one being that transport routes have changed.
“The transport’s not out here anymore. A lot of roads now, you can pull a road train, whereas once we were the only road train route – you had to come this way from Adelaide.
She continued: “The second reason is, drivers are really struggling because of the cost of living. During Covid, some days I only took in $200. But I stayed open for the drivers.
“When they did come in, they had money and they spent it, they were really appreciative. But now, the drivers just don’t have the money to spend.
“Last Monday, I cooked three meals for the entire 15-hour day I was working. I cooked a breakfast at 11.30am, I did a rump and salad at 1.30pm and at 7.30pm that night I made a salad with cold meat.
“There was more money going out than coming in.”
You can read our full interview with Lindsay in the next issue of Big Rigs, available from February 19.