Tack's has new owner: 'I'm glad to... be a part of history'

Reading sandwich shop opened for business in 1946

READING, Pa. - If you fancy yourself a fan of a good sandwich, then you probably already know about Tack's Sandwich Shop on Cotton Street in Reading.

"This place is famous," said Josephine Edgar from Hamburg.

Mt Penn native Randy Rodgers is a regular, lured in on a near daily basis by the aroma.

"The smell of the food," Rodgers said. "When they put that sauce on it, it's to die for."

What are the sandwich staples?

"They're best for their tunas and their California cheeseburgers, as far as I'm concerned," said Edgar.

"Ham and cheese. Steak and cheese," said Rodgers.

Now, the place will be getting a bit of a makeover under new owner Josh Nowotarski, who also owns some Rita's franchises in Berks County and serves as the mayor of neighboring Mt. Penn.

"I grew up on this stuff. Every Thursday night, mom and dad would always take the family to Tack's," Nowotarski explained. "It's something I fell in love with, and I'm glad to finally be a part of history."

In addition to the food, the word family comes up a lot here.

"They're like family. Sort of like Al's Diner," Rodgers said. "Mel's Place. Sort of like the old TV shows."

"My uncle is originally from New York, and every time he came, he would always get the cheesesteaks," Edgar recalled.

If you're worried about changes, the popular menu items aren't going anywhere.

"Tack Burger, it's a three-ounce hamburger with melted cheese, fried onions and our secret Tacks sauce on a toasted bun, and they're outta this world," Nowotarski said.

Nowotarski plans to maintain the past but make adjustments to keep the place competitive in the future.

"They weren't open seven days a week, didn't accept credit cards, so we're going to try and get back to the consistency, back to the basics," Nowotarski said. "What Tack's was known for."

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