A downtown Ottawa restaurant that’s been a staple of the Sparks Street pedestrian mall for several decades closes its doors for good on Sunday.

Yesterday’s restaurant has been open for 55 years at the corner of Sparks and O’Connor streets serving politicians and public servants in the nation’s capital’s downtown core.

Manager Phil Poirier said the restaurant’s owner, 71-year-old Stan Ages, wants to retire, so he sold the restaurant to someone who wants to open a new restaurant.

“The owner was so attached to the restaurant because that’s where it all started for that family … it was all or nothing. Sell the building or not,” said Poirier.

The building that houses Yesterday’s and the neighbouring Centretown Tavern was first built in the 1870s. The site is where Irish Catholic journalist Sir Thomas D’Arcy McGee was assassinated.

The building also used to house Bryson Graham, one of the city’s largest and oldest department stores, between 1880 and 1953.

Accountant Joseph Ages then opened Yesterday’s in 1959 under the name Sharry’s, which was his daughter’s name. The restaurant’s name was changed a few years later, but the company’s name continues to be Sharry Restaurant Realty.

When Joseph Ages died in 2008, his son Stan — Sharry’s brother — took over the business.

Yesterday’s will officially close the night of Sunday, March 9, 2014.

With files from Ryan Gibson