Nancy Van Winkle and son/chef Michael Boutot.
by Yankee Shopper Staff
ROCHDALE – Nancy Van Winkle has had a passion for cooking all her life. “Serving and taking care of people is what I've always done,” she says. She ran her own catering company for nine years, along with managing and cooking for the functions at the Knights of Columbus hall on Central Street in Auburn until that building was sold to R. H. White Construction Co. Inc. in early 2013.
Now Nancy was a cook without a home. Knowing how much she missed it, she said her husband John “gave me a kick in the butt,” suggesting she open her own restaurant. Shortly after, they happened to see that the building at 610 Pleasant Street in the Rochdale village of Leicester was available for rent. She decided to give it a shot.
Empty then, the building had been the former home of Rochdale Pizza, the Colby Bakery, and other businesses. But by the end of the year it had become the home of Rochdale Burgers, Subs & More. The restaurant seats nine and there's an outside picnic table for when the weather is nice.
Besides the burgers and subs, Nancy cooks up her special chicken wings as well as thick crust, sheet pan pizzas, sold in quarter sheets. Husband John is actively involved in managing the restaurant, and son Michael Boutot is also a cook.
The Van Winkles, who live in North Oxford, are happy they made it through a bad winter and can see that the restaurant is becoming established. “Business is picking up,” says Nancy, and they are getting some notoriety with the Triple Burger Challenge. Here's how that goes: Eat a triple bacon cheeseburger, that's a pound and a half, topped with lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion strings, and a full pound of fresh hand-cut french fries, and a half sour pickle in 20 minutes or less and it's free, plus you will receive a $20.00 gift certificate.
Only one person, from a neighboring business, has managed the feat so far, vowing to never do it again. Unless, of course, someone else beats his time.
Store hours are Monday – Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays until 8:00 or “until the phone stops ringing.” Closed on Sunday. Phone 508-892-1586. 610 Pleasant Street, Leicester.