Sad news today. Tom Broder, owner and visionary behind Broders' Pasta Bar and Broders' Cucina, passed away on Saturday due to a life-long heart condition. He was fifty-nine.
Tom, along with his wife and business partner, Molly, was instrumental in awakening our senses to the world of good food. When they opened the Cucina in 1982 at 50th and Penn, things such as goat cheese and kalamata olives were still exotic. With the opening of the kitty-corner Pasta Bar in 1994, the Broders helped educate us about the spectacular possibilities of freshly-made pasta, a particular passion of Tom's.
Not content to be mere restaurant owners, both Tom and Molly were forces in the local industry. Whether holding benefits for other ailing chefs, mentoring young industry hopefuls through the Twin Cities Originals organization, or spearheading the 1996 effort to change the wine and beer laws for neighborhood restaurants (leading to the bounty of eateries we know today), the Broders have always been generous with their time and lives.
The family is grateful to all the health professionals who cared for Tom throughout the past fourteen years. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to the Abbott Northwestern Heart Institute Foundation. Friends may visit at the family home on Tuesday, July 8, from 4–8 p.m., and Wednesday, July 9, from 4– 8 p.m. at 4841 Russell Ave. S., Mpls.