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Anthony’s Fish Grotto Becoming More Energy Efficient Through Green Business Challenge

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AnthonysAnthony's Fish Grotto is both a landmark and popular destination on San Diego Bay.

It was among the first places to eat along the waterfront when the family-owned seafood restaurant opened its doors more than 60 years ago. Now it is starting a new tradition – focusing on going green.


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Today, Anthony's consists of three businesses at one site -– Anthony's Fish Grotto, Anthony's Fishette and the Star of the Sea Event Center. All are being looked at to see where environmental efficiency can be introduced.

Anthony's is among more than 50 businesses along San Diego Bay that are participating in the Port of San Diego's Green Business Challenge. The Challenge – the first of its kind on the West Coast – is designed to promote business practices that reduce energy consumption, water use, waste, as well as to prevent pollution.

Craig Ghio, executive chef and co-owner of Anthony's Fish Grotto, said he is working with San Diego Gas & Electric to analyze some of the restaurant's older systems, broilers, fryers and refrigeration.

Ghio is also evaluating the facilities' heating and cooling systems.

"Since two of our biggest energy expenses are with heating water and cooling air, we're also working with SDG&E to find the best ways to be more efficient in those areas," Ghio said.

In fact, as a result of the Green Business Challenge, Ghio suggested that the Green Business Challenge host a few restaurant-specific workshops at SDG&E's Energy Innovation Center. The center is a new 27,000-square-foot facility, located at 4760 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. The center features the latest in energy-efficient residential and commercial technology, seminars and event space, as well as a fully functional commercial test kitchen.

"There have been so many advancements in kitchen equipment, you really can be energy-efficient without sacrificing quality or safety," he said.

The Energy Innovation Center is designed to be one of San Diego's first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified Platinum buildings open to the public.

"SDG&E wanted to build a facility where the community could come and learn about the best energy-saving practices for a home or business perspective," said Janis Heppell, food service program advisor at the Energy Innovation Center.

"The facility is also home to a state-of-the-art kitchen which lets food service professionals test and compare over 40 pieces of energy-efficient cooking equipment from a variety of manufacturers," she said.

"Anthony's is very interested in ways we can save energy, especially if it helps kitchen operations," Ghio said. "We are currently replacing older systems like broilers, dishwashers and refrigeration equipment with more energy-efficient models."

As an environmental steward of San Diego Bay, the Port of San Diego has adopted environmental policies to protect San Diego Bay and the surrounding land. It has established a Green Port program to minimize its environmental footprint, and established an environmental fund, which has helped fund more than 60 projects around Port District tidelands

The Port of San Diego was created by the state legislature in 1962. Since then, it has invested $1.7 billion in public improvements in its five member cities – Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, National City and San Diego.

The Port District oversees two maritime cargo terminals, two cruise ship terminals, 17 public parks, the Harbor Police Department and the leases of more than 600 tenant and sub tenant businesses around San Diego Bay.

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