Dippers race for the waters of Long Lake at the 2017 Polar Dip for Aroostook County Special Olympics at the Long Lake Sporting Club. The popular facility's owners announced the restaurant would close its doors Oct. 17. Credit: Jessica Potila / St. John Valley Times

This story will be updated.

After half a century in business, a popular Sinclair restaurant, tourist destination and site of many community events will close its doors this fall.

The Long Lake Sporting Club will mark its last day in business on Oct. 17. Owners Neal and Denise Martin announced their plans in a Facebook post on Sunday.

The Martins thanked their clientele over the years but said they “need a break,” after so many years of operating the business.

“We need more time for our kids, our family, and for our health,” the post reads.

“The Sporting Club,” popular for its ployes, has been the site of the annual Long Lake Ice Fishing Derby headquarters for many years and is also a popular tourist destination for snowmobilers from the United States and Canada.

Joanne Jordan, also known as ‘JoAnimal,’ and Heather Spinale, who goes by the moniker ‘Lil’ Animal,’ will miss their long distance snowmobile trips to Long Lake Sporting Club with their outdoor adventure group, Wild Women Adventures. The Sporting Club will close its doors October 18, 2021. Credit: Courtesy of Joanne Jordan

Joanne Jordan and her daughter Heather Spinale, both of Naples, have spent many long-distance snowmobiling and backpacking trips to the Long Lake Sporting Club with the outdoor adventure group they founded, Wild Women Adventures.

“My daughter and I have always stopped at the Sporting Club and have been greeted kindly by staff and clientele and we always got the best advice from the local groomers there,” Jordan said.

“My daughter is a vegetarian, and in Northern Maine it’s hard to find food that works besides grilled cheese. They were always happy to accommodate.”

“I’m going to miss this shelter in a storm but wish them the very best,” Jordan said.

The Martins did not say whether the closure would be permanent, and said they are “unsure of what the future holds.”