5 of 5
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
5 startups that are reimagining the world Bricks that grow from microorganisms, household garbage turned into art, three-wheeled bike-cars -- these startups are redefining urban living. More
Blue collar entrepreneurs These five entrepreneurs took their blue collar experience and used it to launch innovative businesses. More
7 lifehacks to eliminate your holiday hassle Whether curating the perfect gift or finding a pet-sitter, these startups offer time-saving services that might just seem like holiday magic. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.