A brief history of Anthony Athanas


Anthony Athanas (1911-2005), founder and president of the Anthony’s fine family of restaurants, was one of the most illustrious business personalities in Boston. From humble beginnings in Albania – he came to the United States with his parents when he was five-years-old – Athanas rose through the ranks to become a national role model in the restaurant industry, personifying the American dream come true.

Athanas arrived in America with his family in 1915 and settled in New Bedford, Massachusetts, 60 miles south of Boston. His first jobs were peddling fruits and vegetables from a cart, selling newspapers, and lighting wood and coal ovens in restaurant kitchens. He worked his way through various positions in restaurants and hotels throughout New England and New York, gaining invaluable knowledge from chefs, managers and owners.

In 1937, he opened his first restaurant, Anthony’s Hawthorne, in Lynn, Massachusetts, and it quickly became one of New England’s largest and most successful establishments. In the following years, Athanas opened Hawthorne by the Sea (1946) and General Glover House (1957), both in Swampscott, Massachusetts, and Anthony’s Cummaquid Inn (1975) in Yarmouth Port, on Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

Anthony's Pier 4

In 1963, Athanas opened what would become his flagship restaurant, Anthony’s Pier 4, on a Boston Harbor pier. The restaurant was an instant success, garnering acclaim and awards from around the world. Within a few short years, Anthony’s Pier 4 became the highest grossing restaurant in the United States. To this day, Anthony’s Pier 4 retains its title of one of the most popular restaurants in the country. Through the years, the restaurant has hosted heads of government, United States presidents, religious leaders, notable artists and writers, athletes, and a virtual who’s who from the entertainment world.

In addition, Athanas made a monumental contribution to the rebuilding of Boston’s historic waterfront with Anthony’s Pier 4 Restaurant.

Athanas’ four sons – Anthony Jr., Michael, Robert and Paul