Nathans Then and Now

Walter Nathan Harby graduated from the University of New York in Delphi. He started his career in the Suny Vending Corporation where he managed eight small breakfast and lunch restaurants. With his love for old-fashioned homemade food, Walt opened Nathan’s on Park Avenue in Rochester in February 1980 where he developed recipes for delicious soups, breads, and salads. Walt’s son, David began working at the take-out restaurant full time in 1984, and son Chris joined in the early ‘90s. Walt passed away in March of 1996 and his sons carried on his legacy of Nathan’s Old Fashioned Soups and Salads at the same Park Ave location.

Twenty-seven years after it opened, the Harby family felt it was time to retire from the restaurant business. By then Nathan’s had developed such a reputation and following that it caught the attention of someone as passionate about great food and service as the original owner. In August 2007 Rick Torcello purchased Nathan’s Soup and Salad and committed to keeping the same standard of excellence as it had been built upon years ago.

Rick had already established a successful small business in Rochester known as Crystal Clear Windows. Rick’s philosophy as a businessman has always been to offer the very best service in the industry at reasonable prices, and to acknowledge that each customer and business that he serves is as important as the next. Rick’s friendly nature and love for cooking drew him to wanting to someday own and operate a neighborhood-based restaurant. Nathan’s was a perfect fit!

Now Rick is cooking and offering the delicious homemade soups, salads and fresh-baked breads made from the same great recipes that made Nathan’s a Rochester favorite. The menu choices have remained the same, so friends and patrons looking for that familiar comfort food will not be disappointed. Rick also has many new ideas to bring to Nathan’s, such as chilled dessert soups, and recipe contests to add Rochester family favorites to the menu. He hopes to some day expand Nathan’s to areas surrounding the city, as well as offer shipping outside of Rochester.

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