has been a staple to the town of North Reading for the last 40 years. Famous for it's cheese-steaks, pizza, subs and sandwiches, the Hornet's Nest celebrated their 40th anniversary Monday.
Couple David and Laura Salvo have owned the Hornet's Nest for the last eight years. Prior to that, Joe Gallagher and his wife Linda owned the eatery for 32 years.
When asked how they ended up with the shop, Laura Salvo said, "I think it was fate."
She was always a fan of the sub shop, having grown up in North Reading. Laura and David Salvo had always been in the food business, she said. The couple owned another sub shop in Danvers, the one they sold to buy the nest.
They had always wanted to own the Hornet's Nest, and called Gallagher once it went up for sale.
"He said it was sold," Laura Salvo said.
Fortunately for the Salvo's, the potential buyers backed out and Gallagher called the couple with the good news.
"We bought it that same day," she said with a smile.
Gallagher stayed with them for about three months to help with the transition. They kept his original "great menu," but added new things like salads, pizza, french fries and homemade roast beef.
Their specialty is still the cheese-steaks, she said. To honor that, they offered a 40 percent discount on them the day of their anniversary. The price was then comparable to what it was 40 years ago.
Their secret? The high-quality steak is never frozen, and they make them "the same way Joe did it."
"That's what made this place famous," Laura Salvo said referring to the cheese-steaks. "We hope we brought the Hornet's Nest to the next level."