6:29pm Wednesday 21st May 2008
By Samuel Underwood
Brighton's legendary Gut Buster breakfast could have had its chips after it was revealed the café which serves it up has been put on the market.
The all-night Market Diner is up for sale for £175,000.
The famous haunt, renowned for its whopping breakfasts, including the huge Gut Buster, has been catering for clubbers, cabbies, and until recently, market traders, for more than three decades.
But its current owners are selling up - because they need to get some sleep.
Roger Cotton, from agent GPS Direct, said owners Neal and Alec Ross, both have families and want to see them grow up.
He told The Argus: "They work right through the night at the moment and with both of them having families that's not really viable.
"They want to be around them a lot more so they've decided to move on.
"The move has worried regulars of the café, who now fear the new owners may opt for a new menu or scrap the cafe altogether."
Murray Sanderson, 38, who has been going to the venue for the past four years, said: "They can't get rid of the Gut Buster. It would be sacrilege.
"The Market Diner is a Brighton institution and there would be uproar if people messed around with its format."
It is the first time The Market Diner, in Circus Street, has been up for sale.
There has been a café at the site since the early 20th century but it is under ownership of Neal and Alec, and their father Alex, which began in 1975, that it really came to the fore.
It has been frequented by stars, including comedian Mark Williams, actress Patsy Palmer, singer Boy George and footballer Bobby Zamora in its time.
Large queues still regularly form outside the 80 cover venue, particularly at weekends.
The Gut Buster has appeared on the menu of the "caff" in EastEnders and even inspired Bentley Rhythm Ace's Theme From Gutbusters. The dance duo apparently wrote it while they were at university in Brighton.
Neal Ross described the café's clientele as a "real cross-section of Brighton" and said it was a place where people from all walks of life come for "mutual mastication".
He said: "I just hope that whoever buys the place doesn't change it and sees that it is popular as it is now.
"It's a Brighton institution and a lot of towns struggle to maintain the individuality that makes Brighton so popular."
Mr Cotton said the business would be sold as a going concern, and believes potential buyers will be falling over themselves to snap it up - not least because of planned redevelopment in the area. Interested buyers should contact agent GPS Direct on 01323 727271.
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