His children Michael and Rita, who vowed to continue to make him proud, broke the tragic news to loyal customers on Facebook yesterday.
They said: "It is with an extremely heavy heart that we have to share the devastating news of the passing of our dad Antonio, or as most of you know him by, Tony.
"He was a proud man, a kind man who loved having a banter and a chat with the customers
"He spent the best part of his life in The Mermaid - renting for period of time before making it his own.
"He worked tremendously hard alongside our mum and maintained the great reputation and standards that the shop established.
"We hope that we too can continue to do so and make him proud in the process."
The family hope to keep the Mermaid open during the evenings this week but will not be open for lunch.