PROVINCETOWN — It used to be that everything along the Outer Cape closed down at the end of September. And certainly no one was celebrating Halloween in Provincetown.
That’s how it was when Provincetown native Anton Van Dereck cobbled together his now iconic restaurant more than 40 years ago with $12,000 and a hodgepodge of discarded equipment, salvaged wood and whatever he could get his hands on. Christened with his childhood nickname, Van Dereck and his Napi’s Restaurant would go on to do something borderline revolutionary for Provincetown in 1975.
They stayed open all year-round.
“The town was still full of people who were seasonal workers and they found reasonable places to live in the winter, back when that existed,” Van Dereck explained. “Every other restaurant closed. But we stayed open and people were running around with money in their pockets. We made a lot of friends.”