Pepoy’s to mark 1st anniversary in the time of pandemic

Community Bulletin
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PEPOY’S is one of the few restaurants on island that have remained afloat amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The restaurant, which is owned by husband and wife Bong and Marilou Malasarte, will celebrate its first anniversary on July 8.

Located next to Armatech on Beach Road in Chalan Kanoa, it opened eight months before the CNMI government declared a public health emergency in response to a global pandemic.

Like other businesses in the CNMI, Pepoy’s operation was affected because of the pandemic.

Mrs. Malasarte said they had to close the restaurant for dine-in and had to furlough three of their eight employees.

Pepoy’s remaining employees include her daughters Nicole and Roma Amor.

Mrs. Malasarte said they followed the government directives and remained open but for takeout only.

She believes that the first few months of a new business are crucial and she wants the community to know that there is one Filipino restaurant in the Chalan Kanoa area that is open and ready to serve the public.

Marilou Malasarte, center, and daughters Nicole and Roma at Pepoy’s Café & Restaurant on Beach Road in Chalan Kanoa.


Pepoy’s Café and Restaurant is celebrating its first anniversary on July 8.

Pepoy’s tables and chairs are made of wooden pallets. Photos by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

“We brought Pepoy’s to the people,” she said. “We went ‘mobile.’ I drove from south to north every day. I went to construction areas and to private offices that were still open to deliver food.” 

She also provided catering service and tried to keep her prices as affordable as possible while complying with all the required safety measures.

She is thankful to her friends who helped promote her business. “We’ve been here on Saipan for many years now and we have many friends in the local community.”

With the easing of restrictions, Pepoy’s can now accommodate up to 18 people for dine-in, but it continues to accept takeout orders. 

Mrs. Malasarte said in the beginning, their customers were mostly Filipinos, but now local people are also patronizing the restaurant.

“Once they come here, most of our customers become our regular guests,” she added.

Pepoy’s also has a widescreen television set and a microphone so customers can sing karaoke.

The restaurant serves mostly Filipino dishes and its specialty is “bulalo,” which is beef shank soup.

Pepoy’s is open from Monday to Sunday, 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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