A popular restaurant along Southend seafront will shut for good this week as the firm makes changes to the site.

The Brewers Fayre, in Eastern Esplanade, has been a hit with residents for years but Whitbread, the firm managing the chain of restaurants, has confirmed it will close for the final time on Thursday, July 4.

The closure comes as the company is making a shift in its "business growth plan".

Closing - Brewers Fayre in SouthendClosing - Brewers Fayre in Southend (Image: Google Maps)

As a result, the Brewers Fayre restaurant will close and will be changing to a Premier Inn restaurant alongside the adjoining hotel.

Frank Cornish, 79, from Leigh, has been visiting the Brewers Fayre regularly with his wife, June, for years. He said: "We have been for our last light lunch.

"It is a shame that it is closing and we will miss having our Sunday carvery there.

"Some of the staff have been there since it opened, more than nine years ago.

"It is such a loss to the community, we have been going for many years.

Sad - Frank Cornish with June at Brewers FayreSad - Frank Cornish with June at Brewers Fayre (Image: Newsquest)

"We always went at Christmas too with friends and the table was nicely decorated.

“We will really miss it."

Over the next two years, Whitbread reportedly intends to replace roughly 112 of its “lower-returning branded restaurants” with integrated restaurants linked to Premier Inn hotels.

A spokesman for Whitbread stated: "After many years serving the community we can confirm the Eastern Esplanade Brewers Fayre is closing its doors , last day of operation is July 4.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank the local community for their support over the years and our amazing team members.

"The nearest Whitbread brand is now Strawberry Field Beefeater and we do hope to welcome people there."

In an email to its customers on the Loyalty programme, the firm added: "We have announced plans to make changes at some of our restaurants, and unfortunately Brewers Fayre in Southend will be changing to a Premier Inn restaurant and will only service those staying in the hotel after 5th July.

"We apologise for any inconvenience this will cause."