After 36 years in business, Anthony’s Italian Deli will move from its location in the Broadwood Shopping Center off Florida Boulevard to Mid City near the intersection of Government Street and Jefferson Highway. Anthony’s will officially close on Florida Boulevard Saturday, Jan. 3. The new Anthony’s is set to open later in January.
On Monday afternoon, Marco Saia and his mother, Maria, are still at work, serving hot hero sandwiches and muffolettas. A family member posted the news Facebook on Sunday that this would be the deli’s last week on Florida Boulevard. Maria says Monday was one of the busiest days she has seen.
“I saw that 7,000 people saw the [Facebook] message, and I swear those 7,000 people came to lunch today,” she jokes.
The Saia family is excited for the upcoming move. But they know it will be bittersweet.
“I’m going to miss everything,” Marco Saia says. “I have some great memories here, but it’s the best move for us.”
Marco’s go-to comment about the Florida Boulevard location is that he grew up there, and he literally did. His mother was pregnant with Marco just before opening.
“I used to sit on the floor right here while Mom and Dad worked,” he says, pointing behind the deli window and counter. His mother interjects that 36 years is a lifetime.
“It’s my lifetime,” Marco says.
But longtime customers shouldn’t worry about any big changes with the new location. The food, menu and market items will stay the same, and the Saias will have triple the space to operate—around 1,500 square feet. What about that map of Italy, the newspaper clippings, the creaky chairs, the picnic tablecloths and well, the general feeling that surrounds the original Baton Rouge landmark?
“[The new location] will look and feel just like this,” Marco says. “I’m serious. We’ve been taking pictures to make sure of it. [The wall with the map of Italy, pictures and newspaper clippings] will be exactly the same. It will be like moving homes.”