City officials and members met at the new Anthony’s Casual Dining on Landing Road for its grand opening Thursday afternoon, congratulating the owners and expressing relief that the location is home to a family-friendly establishment after its history of contentious bar crowds.
Mayor Ralph Suozzi shared memories with owners Helen and Michael Hoffmann of the reports he used to hear of rowdy college crowds which frequented the place when it was the Aqua Lounge, which closed in 2008.
Anthony’s does serve drinks, but in a “lounge area for adults,” Helen said.
The food tends toward Italian-American, she said, but the menu will feature a variety of dishes, hence the exclusion of an ethnic reference in the restaurant’s name.
“We didn’t want to be labeled as a set menu,” said Helen. She and her husband bought the building in September, having spent ten years helping a friend run their restaurant and harboring ideas about a place of their own. Helen runs the front end of the business while Michael handles the finances and kitchen duties.
Helen said business has been steadily picking up since their soft opening on May 28. She said she had talked with a number of people prior to the venture who expressed interest in having a restaurant at the location, which occupies the corner of Landing Road and Miller Street.
Anthony’s employs 14 people. It is open for lunch and dinner.
The opening comes as the Hoffmann’s prepare to open a pizzeria next door, which they hope to have in operation by the end of summer.