Since 1952, first as Santoro’s and later as Sonny Noto’s, little has changed at the sub shop and restaurant at the corner of Central Square and Bennington Street. When Sonny Noto’s father-in-law, Tony DeRosa, bought the building six decades ago he wanted to serve good, home cooked subs and other specialties to East Boston’s hungry masses.
And that he did and did it well.
Now, three generations later, his grandsons are planning the biggest change in the Sonny Noto name since the family added pasta dishes to the menu back in the 1980s.
The owners of the famed eatery known for its excellent steak and cheese subs, BBQ tips, salads and array of Italian pasta dishes like chicken piccata is opening a second location in Wakefield.
But don’t worry, the landmark Eastie spot is not going anywhere anytime soon.
“We have a lot of customers that live on the North Shore and although they work in East Boston during the week they crave our food on the weekends,” said Richie Noto. “The time was right and a location was available.”
The new Noto’s will be at 49 Water St. in Wakefield inside a building that once housed a sub shop.
“We are going to duplicate Sonny Noto’s in East Boston,” said Noto. “We’ll have the same menu, same prices and the same hours.”
Noto’s has defined what a good, old school sub shop should be here and the family hopes to raise the bar in Wakefield.
“We want to bring the idea of what a sub shop should be to a different level … that’s always been our philosophy,” said Noto, a familiar face at the Eastie location along with his father Sonny and brother Kenny, who will manage the new location. “Like here, this new location will be a place you can come in and get anything from a sub, to a steak tip salad to a good pasta dinner and a glass of wine.”
And like the location here in Eastie, all the food will be fresh and made to order.
“We don’t skimp or cut corners,” said Noto. “We get all our produce and meat fresh daily. We cut and marinate all our meat ourselves and it really makes the difference. These are all recipes that my father learned from his father-in-law and my brother and I learned from my father so we haven’t changed a thing in almost 60 years.”
As for the Noto’s commitment to Eastie, it’s unwavering.
“This is home,” said Noto. “East Boston will always be our foundation.”