SHOP LOCAL: Basta at East Port offering Italian food for carryout

Local News

EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Just because there is a pandemic currently doesn’t mean shopping local has to stop.

Basta at East Port is a mom and pop Italian restaurant that’s been open for 20 years.

Kathleen and Bill Backes, similarly to other local small business owners, rely on customers for their business to thrive. Kara Backes Livengood, their daughter, is the Chef & Manager.

What’s normally a dine-in restaurant, is now solely carryout, but they’re still offering all menu items.

Pasta, salad, bread, and drinks are still able to be picked up and taken home to enjoy with the family.

Kathleen Backes says they need community support to keep their business afloat.

“I think it’s imperative we take care of each other. It’s imperative we support our local businesses. It won’t take long if this pandemic goes on, that we won’t be able to sustain our business for very long for let’s say six months,” Backes said.

Backes says this is a great way to help ease the stress of central Illinois families.

“Treat your family, take the burden off the mom or dad who prepares the meals. There’s nothing better than our homecooked Italian entrees. It’s a tremendous investment, you can’t even go to McDonald’s for what we can provide for a family of four to six,” Backes said.

Although they are only offering carryout, Backes says they are still offering all the same food items.

“Any of our menu items can be prepared for takeout. We can do individual dinners, we can do family style. Our individual dinners come with a house salad or a cup of our soup. All of our entrees come with bread. If they do family-style, those include entrees, salad, bread and butter. It’s a whole meal for a family. Especially through these times, when families are so stressed, it’s a perfect treat for your family,” Backes said.

Backes says they also have gift certificates you can buy, which is a good way to support local businesses.

She says although small businesses are going through really difficult times, their landlord is not giving any breaks or assistance on bills.

“I can tell you specifically, our landlord will not give us any rent reduction. For us, that’s going to be a real blow,” Backes said.

You can call them for carryout at 309-699-8792 and access their menu here.

They are located at 2517 N. Main Street, East Peoria, IL 61611.

You can email them at

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