THE first fully vegan BBQ restaurant in the UK is set to open ... right here in Westcliff.

Businessman Billy Reeve has been working tirelessly to perfect his vegan food in the style of Austin, Texas, after flying out to the USA to experience it back in 2018.

The 31-year-old has been running a pop-up stall called “Stoked” where he has attended festivals and other events, but from Saturday he will open his own restaurant for the very first time at 787 London Road.

Mr Reeve said: “I was blown away by the style of the food, and came back and started cooking, and cooking, and cooking.

“I don’t have a chef’s background, I learned on the job, I wanted to recreate the dishes I had there by myself.

“I spent days cooking getting it wrong and getting it right eventually.

“Vegan food has come a long way in the last three or four years.

“Previously you’d find a few places in London to go some but the stuff you can get now is incredible.”

Some of the dishes Mr Reeve will have available include dishes made from Tempeh, a traditional Indonesian soy product, deep fried chick’n, brisket, mac ‘n’ cheese, - all made with non-animal products.

The road to Mr Reeve opening his store has not been easy.

The businessman was left having to deal with poor conditions when taking over the London Road premises and dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said: “I had the keys for seven weeks but I got my electric meter put in yesterday.

“It’s been the hardest thing I’ve done from an administrative point of view.

“We’re starting off with four staff as we expect the opening weekend to be busy, before going to two staff.

“But I don’t know, we might be so busy I may have to hire another person.

“I’ve always wanted to have my own restaurant.

“The response has been incredible, my hairdresser texted me saying this is all his clients have been talking about.

“I am not saying this is a place just for vegans. Most people I get just like good food, and it’s more BBQ for all.”