Owner John Tumino said that while the dining room was unscathed, it
gave him a chance to refurbish it anyway, complete with new carpets,
walls and ceilings, granite tops at the waitstaff stations and raising
booths off the floor in the bar area. Exterior improvements took place,
and necessary new equipment now adorns the kitchen.
A $40,000 insurance payment not only covered the cost of new
equipment and renovation, but also kept everyone on the payroll. No one
was cooking or serving these past six weeks, but everyone pitched in
with the setup and cleanup of the restaurant.
Asti regulars have followed the family-run business since it was a
humble pizza place and Tumino’s job was delivering lunches to staff at
nearby St. Joseph’s Hospital. In 2002, the Tumino family turned their
establishment into a bona fide restaurant and then, latching on to the
city’s 2004 focus of Little Italy, Italian cuisine, the restaurant
expanded into a trendy, dining experience.
“We are now ‘Asti’ since we are no longer just a café,” Tumino
explains, “and we’ll be planning a new menu in the near future. This
symbolizes a new start and a new beginning.”