A popular Mexican restaurant will be closing its doors after a successful 25 years of business.

Staff at the much-loved Panchos Cantina restaurant, in London Road, Westcliff, are still taking ‘last chance’ bookings for one final fiesta and will be offering customers a free tequila shot.

The restaurant, which is well-known for its cosy atmosphere, friendly service and worm Mezcal tequila shots, will close its doors for good on March 25.

Owner Sarah Laverty, who runs the restaurant with husband Pat, said she is closing up because the couple are set to retire.

She said: “The lease has come to an end and we will not be renewing it as I am retiring. The Rayleigh branch will still be open and we hope our customers will follow us over there.

“We are very sad to see it go, we hold a lot of memories here. Families of families have been coming here for over 25 years.

“I would like to thank all our loyal customers for their support over the last 25-plus years and hopefully look forward to seeing them at Rayleigh.”

Residents were disheartened by the news and spoke of their memories at the popular restaurant.

Sonia Fraser, who lives in Eastwood, said: “Having worked at Panchos in 2002 for 13 years I have many great memories there and it is a real shame it’s closing. It is still a personal favourite of mine and my family’s and will be greatly missed.”

Joe Gleed, who lives in Westcliff, said: “Panchos is a one of a kind place. There aren’t many Mexican restaurants around in Southend and Panchos always had a really homely vibe.

The restaurant is known for offering their customers a sombrero to wear whilst they enjoy some tex-mex. Customers are also able to buy a traditional Mezcal shot with a worm in the bottom. Those who take part in this receive a special certificate.

Call 01702 432832 to book one last fiesta.