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'It's been our home': Customers say goodbye to Jacksonville Beach staple, Campeche Bay Cantina

"This place is part of the community, it's just a place that we always thought would be here." - Tom Baine, customer

Goodbyes are never easy, especially when it comes to someone or something we hold near and dear to our hearts.

So you can imagine the heartbreak felt by the community after learning that a Jacksonville Beach staple, Campeche Bay Cantina, is closing after serving delicious New Mexico-style Mexican cuisine for the past 33 years.

"Campeche Bay has a lot of memories," said customer Dr. Tom Baine. "I've been coming here for about 27 to 28 years since I was in college ... It's going to be difficult not coming to this place anymore."

The owners made the sudden announcement of the restaurant's closure on Monday. They said their final day will be Wednesday.

Campeche Bay Cantina Jax Beach updated their cover photo.

"I was pretty upset," Baine said. "This place is part of the community, it's just a place that we always thought would be here."

READ MORE >> Jacksonville Beach dining landmark Campeche Bay Cantina closing after 33 years

With only a three-day notice, loyal customers lined up outside of this eatery before opening. Lines were reportedly as long as 90 minutes on Monday and as long as two-and-a-half hours on Tuesday. 

Many waiting in line came from all over Jacksonville, wanting one last hurrah at the restaurant while some tried it for the very first time.

"I live about 30 miles away, so my wife and I make pilgrimages here at least monthly, so it was really hard to take that I had two days to come here," Baine said. "... They have the best margaritas and best wings anywhere, so it's going to be difficult not coming to this place anymore."

"I thought I should try it," said a customer during a Facebook Live on Tuesday.

"Portabello mushroom fajitas, shrimp quesadillas, steak chimichangas," said another customer during the live video, stating her favorite Campeche dishes. "Green salsa is phenomenal, they make it homemade here, everything by hand. Everything is phenomenal."

Overall, the community had one message to the owners as they count down Campeche Bay Cantina's final hours: "We're sad to see you go."

"It's been our home," a customer said. "It's been 20 years of my memories so we're just sad to see it go. We're happy to be here with a fellowship and friends and, uh, give it a good send-off."

"I'm sad," said a third customer said during the live video. "This is my favorite restaurant. So I'm sad they're closing ... [we're going to miss] getting together here with friends."

"Lot of good memories ... I mean, 33 years is a long time," a fourth customer said.

Even though they are closing, the owners said in a news release that despite two of the owners retiring, the third partner sees an opportunity for a new venture.

"As one door closes, another one opens," said co-owner Tom Sprowell.

What are you going to miss about Campeche Bay Cantina? Join the conversation on Facebook.