Drexel On The Road: Joe Patti’s Seafood, where fish meet fun

Drexel on the Road
VIDEO: Drexel On The Road: Joe Patti's Seafood, where fish meet fun

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Joe Patti’s Seafood has been a part of Pensacola since the 1930s. It had humble beginnings on the porch of Sicilian immigrants Joe and Anna Patti’s family home on Devilliers Street.

“I was born in a fish market,” says 88-year-old Frank Patti, Joe’s eldest son. “My daddy would go catch shrimp in the bay and when I was old enough, I would go with him.”

The market has grown exponentially since those early days. Today, Joe Patti’s is more than just a place to buy shrimp. It’s part seafood market and part sushi/souvenir/grocery/wine shop. It’s also, a lot of entertainment!

Frank Patti likes to kid with his customers as he uses a hand-held microphone to call out the number of the next person in line. His staff bags filets of fish, and sacks of shrimp and oysters with flair. And with a menagerie of items ranging from seafood, to local coffees, to fine wines, to souvenir posters…

“You can buy anything here!” says Marilyn Hallstead, of Michigan. “We’ve been coming here for 25 years.”

Travel writers often refer to Joe Patti’s as a destination all on its own. The crowds bear that out and the lines just get longer as the day goes along.

“Just wait til 4 o’clock this afternoon,” said one customer, a big smile on his face. “It will be crazy!”

Patti says his father, Joe, would be surprised at how big the once tiny operation has become. All six of Joe’s and Anna’s children have worked in the family business, as have many of their grandchildren.

Joe Patti’s is located on Main Street just east of the downtown center in Pensacola. It’s open from 7:30 am til 6 pm Monday-Sunday, 361 days a year.

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