THE man behind one of Darlington’s oldest family-run restaurants has died.

Frederick Stehr, who used to run Crombies restaurant and guest house on Tubwell Row, passed away earlier this month.

Mr Stehr took over the business in 1978 with his wife Maureen, who was Alexander Crombie’s granddaughter.

The Northern Echo:

Owner Frederick Stehr reflecting on 70 years of Crombies restaurant in Darlington in 2003

The restaurant celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2015 and has attracted big names in showbusiness such as Arthur Lowe, Tom Baker and Jimmy Cricket

Back in 2015, the couple said they had refurbished the premises and refocused Crombies on providing quality home-cooked meals at good prices using local suppliers.

Speaking at the time, Mr Stehr said: “It is getting tougher by the year.

“Not only because of the competition, but because running a family business you mainly have to be very hands-on and do most of the work yourself."

The Northern Echo:

Crombies Cafe in Darlington when it opened in 1933

After he retired from running the restaurant, Mr Stehr created his own app, called Lotto Dice Roller, which featured a 3D dice which roll to reveal six numbers when the user shakes the iPhone or iPad.

The app helps Lotto players choose six numbers and he claimed it produces sequences which give the user a better chance of winning money.

“It’s a lucky number generator but it’s designed in such a way that it falls in line with the parameters for odd and even numbers, high and low numbers and total sums of the numbers," he said at the time.

“Everyone has to do something when they retire – some people play golf but I have done this."