5 of 5
BACKNEXT
And back on land ...
And back on land ...

Tommy Cvitanovich
Owner, Drago's Seafood
New Orleans

The oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico is hitting not just the fishermen but the restaurants that rely on their catches. At Drago's, seafood dishes like barbecue drumfish and sautéed shrimp make up more than half the menu.

"I would say 80% of everything I serve is seafood, and all of that comes out of [Louisiana waters]," says owner Tommy Cvitanovich.

Because there's always a demand for seafood in New Orleans, prices can be volatile. After Hurricane Katrina, when many fishermen lost their boats and oyster beds were smothered in mud, prices shot up. But after a hurricane, the local ecosystem can heal itself fairly rapidly. No one is sure what will happen when oil washes into the state's fisheries. Cvitanovich feels it's only a matter of time before the price for seafood jumps.

"I'll survive, but I am going to be heavily impacted. If this continues for another month or so, I imagine there's going to be a big problem with availability," he says.

An oyster shortage could be especially troublesome for Cvitanovich, since Drago's is known for its charbroiled oysters. At some point he would have to pass on the price increases to his customers. The only other option would be to turn to imported seafood -- something no restaurateur ever wants to do when they've built their reputation on fresh Louisiana seafood.

"I don't want to be in a position where I have to compromise quality," Cvitanovich says. "That is a decision I don't even want to have to make."

For now, Drago's is carrying on with business as usual, serving the local seafood specialties it has featured for more than 40 years. Like many of his customers, Cvitanovich is watching the daily news reports to track the movement of the spreading oil.

More galleries

Email | Print | Share
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
LAST UPDATE: May 12 2010 | 11:22 AM ET
More Galleries
6 designers shaking up fashion These designers are changing the way we dress, accessorize and shop, from custom made-to-fit dresses to smart jewelry that's actually stylish. More
8 must-have travel apps Whether you've got wanderlust or an airline grievance, here are some apps to pack onto your phone. More
Secrets to success from Smalltown USA Utah State professor Michael Glauser cycled 4,000 miles this summer, visiting 100 entrepreneurs across the country. Here's a snapshot of how they grew their businesses. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.