Celebrating Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve at Archar Seafood in Somerset

As people come together to celebrate Christmas, a local seafood market becomes a community space ahead of the Feast of the Seven Fishes celebration.
Archar Seafood in Somerset was busy with shoppers buying seafood for the Feast of Seven Fishes.
“We do the seven fishes, but we wanted to have lobster for tonight,” said Rick Rizzon, a customer at the store. “I wanted the lobster live. So I got six hard shell lobsters for tonight for dinner. I made the octopus yesterday, the shrimp and the scungilli, and we’re making a spaghetti with garlic and oil and anchovies.”
Italian-American families like Rizzon's will share a large meal together Sunday night. He will be joined by his wife, sons and their girlfriends. He said he’s been coming to Archar Seafood for more than 30 years.
“I’ve been dealing with [owner] Mike [Zabawsky] since the early 90s,” Rizzon said. "He knows what I want. He always calls me and says, 'Rick how much octopus do you want?'”
Archar Seafood celebrated 40 years in business this year.
“Listen they all want good food. And we have the seven fishes for Christmas,” said owner Michael Zabawsky. “We also have people shopping every week of the year. And they enjoy coming in here. They know me, I know them, I know their family stories, they know mine. So, it’s a nice relationship we have.”
While some residents were preparing for Christmas Eve festivities, some others were doing some last-minute Christmas shopping. Shoppers like Andressa Baptista could also be seen at the Walgreens across town buying some last-minute gifts.
“I’m getting Christmas gifts for my boyfriend’s nephew, niece, and grandma because he’s not good with picking Christmas gifts,” Baptista said. “I worked all week, so I didn’t have time to get anything.”