There is surprising news in New Bedford's restaurant scene. One of the city's most popular spots has been put up for sale.

Bobby Afonso has owned Top Shelf Bar and Grill for nearly 13 years. The Acushnet Avenue restaurant is known for having sizable portions at reasonable prices.

Tough Decision to Sell

Afonso said he's been torn about the move.

"It's a tough decision, but I'm starting to get a little burnt out," he said.

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Afonso got married in Colombia last summer, and his wife will not have the necessary paperwork to move to the United States until June. "I'd like to spend a little time down there, but I can't leave the restaurant," Afonso said.

Afonso said that he just needs a little six-month break from the restaurant business, but expects to return to the industry in the future.

"I started in this business when I was 13 working at my parents' at Antonio's in New Bedford. He has since worked at the Miami Hilton, Flanagan's and catering companies.

When Will Top Shelf Be Sold?

Afonso said he's in no rush to sell the business.

"I want the restaurant to do well. I'm only going to sell it to the right buyer. I love this place. This was my dream. This is my baby."

He was only 23 when he bought Top Shelf. Ideally, he'd like to see one of his employees buy the business next.

"I want things to stay the same with the employees and their ideas," he said.

Afonso has already declined multiple offers to buy the business.

"The last thing I want to see is this place go south," he said.

Afonso's parents recently sold Antonio's after 34 years.

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