Little Italy Restaurante
Location & Contact:
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In 1984 there was not much out here, so when Spiros said he wanted to buy this little eatery for it's location I thought he'd lost a bit of his sanity. Hillside delivery wasn't done much, but there was still a market for pizza take-out and delivery. We had 1800 square feet of isolation after our neighbors in this strip mall (the liquor store and a convenience store) moved out a year later.
So, we were alone with no mall' traffic to help, a new baby and renting the videos, beta and VCR's that were part of the purchase. He promised me he'd "fix" it and he kept good to his word. 1987 brought us another baby, the sale of all the video equipment and six booths, planter boxes and a three seat bar were put in. We still served pizza, lasagna and the hot sandwiches, but added a few nice dinners to the menu, candles to the tables and carpet on the floor.
Two years later a customer brought in a friend...who came again with another friend. Both did the food reviews for the Daily News. They had a bit of a reputation of taking little places and being brutal in their critique. Honestly, I was ill when I found out they were going to review our place and mentally started packing to leave the state.
The day the article was published it happened; they loved us and we were on the map. It was hard to keep up having only myself as a server, Spiros with a helper on the line, one dishwasher and a delivery driver with no reverse...but we did it. I remember taking trays of mozzarella bread and wine outside to people sitting on their cars in the summer sun waiting for a table! Fun crazy and we were so grateful and having a great time.
The menu expanded adding Greek dishes from his home in Corfu along with several of his own signature dishes. These marvelous creations rich in sauce and seafood were very popular as specials and made it to the permanent menu that went from two handwritten pages to what it is today.
Because of that, Spiros decided to expand adding ten more tables to the adjacent vacant space in 1990. (The family also expanded to another baby that year!) The expansion went so well he did it again in 1993 going West yet again in the building, adding another ten tables and a lovely wine bar.
So, in 25 years we have had the honor and the pleasure of being a constant neighborhood destination in South Anchorage. We have watched the area around us grow from desolate to bustling. We have made life long friends and watched our children grow up together and now, grandchildren. We have been fortunate to host the important events in their lives and saddened when we say good-bye to those who decide the winters are simply too much now.
Our children, Vasilios (Akis), Anastasia and Amalia all help us in the business today and we are fortunate to have our grandchildren tucked away in the back like their mother, spaghetti and spoon in hand while the family works. It is a fading phenomenon, the small family business. We feel fortunate that we are able to keep that alive and have our wonderful customers to thank for it.
Spiros & PJ
Monday: 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Tuesday: 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Wednesday: 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Thursday: 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Friday: 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Saturday: 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Sunday: 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Type of Meals Served:
Greek & Italian Cuisine.
Voted Best Italian Cuisine For 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013 In Alaska by ADN Readers
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