NEW YORK — Tucked away in Seguine Plaza, in Prince’s Bay on Staten Island, is Fratelli Pizzeria and Restaurant, owned by Josephine Fusco and her family. They bought the business back in 2012.
"We were doing really, really well,” Fusco said. “It was a dream.”
But like many restaurants, Fratelli took a huge hit during the coronavirus pandemic. Because of its location, it hasn’t been able to offer outdoor dining, forcing the business to rely on dine-in and takeout.
What You Need To Know
- Due to the location of Fratelli Pizzeria and Restaurant, outdoor dining is not an option
- Because of the small dining room, the owners can fit only 20 people inside
- The restaurant helps support two families
"We’re lucky if we get two, three tables a day,” Fusco said. “We’re holding on by a thread.”
"We come in in the morning — my husband and I or whoever is on shift in the morning — we prepare, we get ready, we hope for a good day,” Fusco said. “But, pretty much, if you’ll come in during the day time, you’ll see us sitting down, doing absolutely nothing.”
NY1 visited Fratelli during lunch time on a Friday. Only three people came for dine-in service.
Fusco says the size of their dining room has also been a disadvantage.
"We get about 20 people on 50% because we have to include ourselves working here as well,” Fusco said.
The restaurant is relying on specials throughout the week to create some buzz, but it can’t afford to advertise. Paper signs on the front window are its only option.
Fusco and her family applied for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) twice and were denied both times. They say if Gov. Andrew Cuomo does not expand indoor dining capacity soon, they will have to close their doors.
"Here the rent is so steep that you can't survive if this business does not pick up,” Fusco said.
But for now, Josephine are her family are very thankful to their loyal customers who have helped to keep Fratelli hanging on.
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