FOR the family behind one of south Essex’s best loved Wimpy restaurants there are never two days the same.

In the fifties, before McDonald’s and Burger King, fast food lovers flocked to Wimpy Bars in Essex for their fill of burgers, fries and shakes.

The food was served on a plate and back in the day a cheeseburger cost 21p.

The brand will celebrate its 70th birthday this month.

Incredibly the Southend Victoria franchise has been run by the same family for nearly 50 years.

It was taken over by Andreas Stamatopoulous in 1977, who previously owned a Wimpy in Leigh before taking on the Victoria site.

In 2006, Andreas retired, and it is now run by his daughter Anna Killi, and her husband George Killi who actually met in the 1980s at the Wimpy in Southend.

George said: “It is great to be sharing our anniversary celebrations with our customers, we have already had so many lovely messages.

“We have been here for 47 years now and of course we have seen some changes.

“Most recently we have had to cope with the pandemic and, now the cost of living, which does have an impact, but we always like to think of Wimpy as providing good value food.

“I always say that running a Wimpy is a bit like a rollercoaster there can be a lot of ups and downs, but we especially love the summer in Southend when the city is full of visitors.

“There are never two days the same, but the satisfaction of seeing both new and regular customers coming back through our doors is always the same.

“Often, we see generations or family who used to visit back in the 80s and now they are bringing their children and grandchildren.

“It is very much a community feel and that’s what we love.”

The restaurant in Southend Victoria was named Wimpy of the Year in 2018.

George added: “I would recommend running a Wimpy to anyone but, like any business, you need dedication, determination, and a desire to succeed.

“If you work hard, it is rewarding, and I certainly wouldn’t want to do anything else.”

Wimpy branches in Essex has seen all sorts from filming for TV shows to Hollywood mega star when Brad Pitt being spotted in 2014 treating himself to a bargain £6.35 cheeseburger meal with chips on Tuesday night at a Wimpy in Billericay.

Echo Facebook users have also been sharing their favourite memories of Wimpy to mark its 70th anniversary.

Paula Walker wrote: “I used to get taken to the branch in Hamlet Court Road as a kid, and then when I grew up, I worked in the Victoria Plaza branch for Andy.

“He was a lovely boss. I have fond memories of working there.”

Lin Donlan said: “I still go to the Plaza and still love it. Good food and lovely staff.”

Toni Downs added: “Me and my mum always went there for lunch when in Southend. Lovely family.”