EXETER -- Walk into Cuz's Bar and Grille and you won't stay a stranger for long. Owner Francesco Stuppino, also known as "Cuz," greets every guest like a long-lost relative. Hugs are on the house.
Kathy and Paul Layton make the trip every Sunday that the Steelers play.
"He is just wonderful, so warm, so welcoming. We loved it from the first day we came here," says Kathy Layton.
In spring of 2013 when his bar burned down, Stuppino bounced back like a champ.
He moved across the way and rebuilt his business, bigger and better. Faithful fans sent collectibles from every corner of the country.
When Newswatch 16 learned the outgoing proprietor had decided to sell, we wondered why he was walking away from his dream.
Cuz will soon turn 70 years old. He realized, while bars and football might be his lifeblood, his heart is with his family. A heart that now has nine stents in it.
"I am not 40 years old anymore. That is the hard part. Would I like to keep going on? Yeah, but I can't," said Stuppino.
But that doesn't make wishing his customers farewell easy.
"I am crying right now because Cuz is a great guy and it's going to be missed," said Paul Layton.
Stuppino said the new owners plan to make the place into an Irish pub, but he takes comfort that one of them is a Steelers fan. He said he is excited to see them improve the place and build a deck out back, something he didn't have the resources to do.
"I am going to enjoy seeing the transition, that this is not going down in vain. I built something for young kids to take over," said Stuppino.
And while "Cuz" has shed a few tears, he hopes his friends understand this is not a loss.
"I built, it, they did come, and I am walking off the field a winner. A man built his dream, and unfortunately, I gotta walk away," said Stuppino.
Stuppino's retirement isn't ironclad.
He plans to move some of his Steelers memorabilia to his other bar, The Blue Pelican in Lake Winola in Wyoming County.