Family run Spanish restaurant tucked away in a courtyard near a Merseyside train station

The courtyard Spanish Tapas Restaurant and Bar La Casa Vieja off Bickerstaff Street in St Helens
The courtyard of Spanish tapas restaurant and bar La Casa Vieja in St Helens -Credit:La Casa Vieja

A much loved Spanish tapas restaurant, tucked away near a busy Merseyside train station, is celebrating three decades in business.

La Casa Vieja, tucked away in a courtyard off Bickerstaff Street by St Helens Central train station, is regularly fully booked with customers praising its authentic tapas dishes. The family-run business was opened by husband and wife Manolo Estupinan-Quintana and Joan Martin, who met in the Canary Islands of Spain and decided to move back to England to raise their young family.

Head Chef Manolo, was originally from Gran Canaria, and wanted to bring a little slice of his home to Merseyside in the form of home cooked food. Manolo and Joan's children, daughter Siobhan and son Mikel, also both work at the restaurant.

READ MORE: easyJet deals from Liverpool including all inclusive holidays from £386

READ MORE: Secluded village with beautiful beach that's 'unlike anywhere else'

Thanking customers for their support over the past 30 years on Facebook, they said the team are "overwhelmed and humbled". They added: "I have to say Mano, our Papa, has poured his life and soul into La Casa Vieja with his family and close friends as support, we are extremely proud of him and he deserves the recognition of the incredible devotion sheer passion and work ethics, he has stridden to produce authentic tapas, with recipes from my Abuela his mum too.

Husband and wife Manolo Estupinan-Quintana and Joan Martin in their restaurant La Casa Vieja in St Helens, taken the first week of opening 27 years ago
Husband and wife Manolo Estupinan-Quintana and Joan Martin the first week of opening their restaurant in St Helens -Credit:La Casa Vieja

"He really is the beating heart of La Casa Vieja and he's not stopping any time soon, so I would personally like to thank every single person who has shown their upmost support especially in adverse times and a special thank you to our Casa team, they honestly work tirelessly with heart and together we make the big family we are today.

"Thank you to our amazing close friends also and our returning customers who I've known most of my life you're kind words have really touched our hearts and it means the world to us, we will keep serving authentic home cooked tapas with a fruity home made sangria imported wines, beer or cocktail with a big smile."

Inside Spanish Tapas Restaurant and Bar La Casa Vieja off Bickerstaff Street in St Helens
Inside La Casa Vieja which has recently been refurbished -Credit:La Casa Vieja

Previously speaking to the ECHO, manager Siobhan said: "My mum and dad have had Casa for 27 years. They worked hard, my dad still does. He works seven days a week, he hasn't had a holiday in 27 years. I started working in there when I was 12 for some pocket money on Saturday nights and from then on I’ve done more.

"You can't get a more family place then you do here. My brother is in the kitchen and I'm on the outside. Our business is very important to us, to my dad. My dad goes to the market three times a week. He’s a wonderful chef, but everything he does is with heart and if it’s not he doesn't send it out. Everything is rustic and authentic and Casa is known for serving great quality food."

Tapas from Spanish Tapas Restaurant and Bar La Casa Vieja off Bickerstaff Street in St Helens
Manolo uses fresh produce to create his authentic dishes -Credit:La Casa Vieja

La Casa Vieja serves a wide selection of fresh fish or meat dishes, as well as vegetarian options and homemade desserts. Siobhan added: "You’re in St Helens and if you walk into our tunnel to our courtyard you're now in Spain or Gran Canaria.

"The courtyard, when you get nice weather and sun, it’s like a suntrap. I love when everyone is outside and having a sangria. We’ve had customers return year after year. I started here when I was 12 and I'm now 33 and I know my dad has watched us grow up but it’s also customers coming in with their families. That’s Spain, it’s about family and children."

Dessert from Spanish Tapas Restaurant and Bar La Casa Vieja off Bickerstaff Street in St Helens
The restaurant also offers different homemade desserts -Credit:La Casa Vieja

Siobhan said that family is at the heart of the business, adding: "My dad, he's 59 and he’s put nearly 30 years of his life into it. He’s just amazing and he’s put everything into Casa. My dad is the heart of Casa, we all are too but it started with him. He just wants to get ready to go now and have a much brighter future then it has been."

Receive top stories on everything going on in Merseyside including events, shopping and food and drink through our newsletter by signing up here