Reporter Susan Thomas and photographer Victoria Langowska show how one busy Italian Market business had to get creative during pandemic restrictions. Anastasi Seafood reopened their restaurant for dine-in service after a period of takeout-only offerings.
Anastasi Seafood Makes the Best of Restrictions
Many businesses have struggled to stay open during the pandemic but Anastasi Seafood has pulled through. The family owned business has been a part of Philadelphia’s Italian Market for over 80 years.
The restaurant closed for 8 months last year. The owner, Janet Anastasi, lost half of her employees because of capacity restrictions. On the bright side, after the restaurant and bar closed, the fish market and takeout system thrived.
“The fresh seafood took off because everyone was at home cooking so everyone would come to buy fish to cook at home. Then our takeout went crazy too,” a staff member said.
“If it wasn’t for the fish market I don’t think we would’ve made it,” Anastasi said.
The restaurant reopened in February this year after its second closing last November. Business was slow at first but people kept coming.
Anastasi has hope for even more success next season. “Summer is our busiest time since we sell live crabs and other live foods and that is the season for it so we’ll be extremely busy in the summer. I have a lot of faith in that,” she said.