Terry, the barbecue master at the renowned Houston restaurant Terry’s, says his restaurant is closing its doors after two decades in business.

“It’s really unfortunate.

We’ve been there for 22 years, and it’s time for us to close,” he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

“We’ve always had a great relationship with our customers and with our staff.

They’re going to have to move on.”

Terry says his last meal was Saturday night, when he served his final dinner of the year.

He is expected to open another restaurant on the premises, the Houston Chronicle reported.

He will keep his position as chief operating officer of Terry Blacks barbecue joint, and will continue to serve as the company’s senior vice president and president of operations.

Terry is not the only Texas restaurant to have closed in recent years.

Terrell’s BBQ closed its doors last year after 20 years in business, and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre closed its door in 2004 after 26 years in operation.

Texas restaurant industry watchers say many Texas restaurants are not able to survive the downturn.

“When the economy crashes and the businesses can’t survive it, it becomes a very, very, negative environment,” said Kevin Smith, a spokesman for the Texas Restaurant Association.

“I don’t think anybody wants to see that.”

The Texas Restaurant Federation, which represents the state’s foodservice industry, has urged the Texas Legislature to take action to support the industry and the state as a whole.

“With so many restaurants struggling and so many businesses unable to survive, we have to step up to the plate and take advantage of this downturn,” said Dave Bourgeois, the federation’s president and CEO.

Terrible business climate can put a downward pressure on the quality of a restaurant’s food.

The Texas Association of Realtors reports that restaurants have seen a 10 percent drop in sales, a 25 percent decline in restaurant visits and a 32 percent drop on the number of dining trips.

“This industry is at a tipping point,” said Smith.

“That’s not good news for the restaurant and the restaurant industry in general.

It means that people are going to leave and people are not coming back.”

Bourgeois also said that the industry is suffering from a lack of awareness and the lack of understanding from the state government.

“There are no regulations or requirements to help restaurants and the restaurants are going out of business because they are not being properly served,” he said.