Nick Pompeian met Natalie Victoria about nine years ago at a Post Bulletin networking event at the Rochester Golf and Country Club. I had just got started in commercial real estate and my Dad had mentioned that I needed to go and build my network. Back in those days, networking events are how we met people in hopes of building relationships and our business. I knew Natalie from the many dinners that my family had at the original Victoria’s which was in the Brackenridge Plaza on 2nd Street SW. However, I never had spoken to her in a professional setting such as this. I will never forget speaking with Natalie that day. One of the first questions she asked was, “Are you working with your dad now?” I remember nervously saying yes. She responded by asking me for my business card, which I vividly remember nervously grabbing out of my coat pocket to give to her. Her final response to me was, “I am going to call you.”
I quickly found out that she and her partner were looking for a building as they wanted to start a bar. I knew exactly the building, and after meeting on several occasions, Natalie and Sid Victoria and Christine and Eric Stahl decided to make an offer on the former Hight and Randall building located at 10 3rd Street SW. To make a long story short, that offer was accepted, and the Tap House became a staple in downtown Rochester. Because the Tap House was such a success, a few years later I had the pleasure of working with Natalie and Christine again and represented them in the purchasing of a lot on west circle drive where the Tap House West End sits today.
Throughout the years, I have had the pleasure of building a real friendship with Natalie and the others in her family. We regularly talk about the kids, what they are up to, what vacations they are going on, etc… Natalie has also played a prominent role in my personal life. I met my wife at the Tap House on November 21, 2017. I held her surprise 30th birthday at the Tap House, which I later proposed to her that night. We have had our annual office dinner at Victoria’s for years. Victoria’s served the luncheon at my Dad’s funeral. We have had many family gatherings over the Holidays at Victoria’s. The countless happy hours and late-night beers at the Tap House and Tap House West End provided some wonderful memories. For many of life’s big and memorable events, Natalie and her family have been there serving up their hospitality and love.
I will never forget the moment I met Natalie. I often have thought to myself why, at that time, would someone that is established want to call a young kid like me who had no experience in real estate. The answer is very clear; it was because she saw the potential and wanted to see the next generation grow! And that is exactly what Natalie and Sid are doing with their new restaurant. They are taking a chance on the next generation which I guarantee will be well worth it.
In closing, I want to say thank you, Natalie, Sid, and Victoria's family. Thank you for taking a chance on a 24-year-old, who had no experience, no resume of sales, and no business working with someone such as yourselves. Thank you for helping me and my family in some of life’s most exciting and difficult times by being there for us when we needed you most. Most of all, thank you for taking a chance on family, being patient, and educating the next generation on how to build a successful business. I am forever grateful to you and your family, and I am so excited to see Sorellina’s come to life. Congratulations a million times over and thank you for all you have done for me, my family, and my business! I am looking forward to continuing the work we have started and built on the strong and meaningful relationship we have with one another.