Downtown Windsor is losing a popular and familiar face.

Elias Sleiman is retiring Friday. In doing so, he will also close the doors to his popular Elias' Deli on Ouellette Avenue near Riverside Drive.

Sleiman is 73 years old and has been in the restaurant business for 45 years.

"It's all good memories, 45 years, I never looked back. I worked but I enjoyed it, between 12 and 15 hours a day. I opened the place and I closed it. But like they say, my friend, all good things must come to an end," Elias Sleiman said

His son, Louis, has been helping him for the past 15 years. Louis says they're both leaving with mixed emotions.

"I'm very sad. But I'm very relieved for my father. If I hadn't left, he probably would have kept going. I don't think that's the right thing for him," Louis Sleiman said. "I think it's time for him to spend time with his grandchildren and maybe travel a bit."

The younger sleiman is becoming a car salesman. He starts the new job Monday.

"My son was supposed to take it over for me, but he decided not to. He moved on to something else," Elias Sleiman said.

Elias' Deli opened in 1968.

"I've been retired for 45 years. I call this retirement because I had a good life in it. I had a good life in it. I love my work," Elias Sleiman said. "When your working day's a play day, you'll never work another day. I'm very upset to leave. But time, eh? Age. Time. What do you?"

Elias Sleiman said he's leaving the restaurant intact for someone else to run.

"Somebody can take over, walk in, turn the equipment on. That's all it will take," Elias Sleiman said. "If they need a hand with it, I'm willing to give them a hand. I want them to succeed."