TROY, NY (June 6, 2022) – Mayor Patrick Madden today announced the City of Troy will dedicate a section of Fourth Street in historic downtown Troy in memory of Michael Lo Porto, former City Councilmember, Troy chef and owner of Loporto Ristorante Caffe.
Fourth Street between State and Broadway will be dedicated as “Lo Porto Way” in recognition of Michael’s life, contributions, and service to the Collar City. A resolution will be transmitted to the City Council for their consideration and approval of the street dedication. Councilmembers Susan Steele (District 3) and Emily Menn (District 4) have agreed to sponsor the resolution.
Mayor Madden said, “For those who knew him, Michael was a constant presence outside his restaurant on Fourth Street, engaging with customers, friends, and acquaintances passing by. Loporto Ristorante Caffe merged his passions: food and family, and he shared them with countless Trojans and customers from around the world during the last three decades. It feels appropriate that a portion of Fourth Street will forever bear his name. I am honored to advance this dedication and thank the Lo Porto family for sharing Michael with the city for so many years.”
Francesca Lo Porto-Brandow, Michael’s daughter, said, “My father would have been overjoyed and honored with this dedication. Fourth Street is home to one of his greatest accomplishments, LoPorto’s Ristorante Caffe, both his and the city’s first five-star restaurant which attracted many to the city during the 90’s when Troy was not the popular destination it is today. I have many memories of my father as an involved community member for the city. He always cared and advocated for Fourth Street businesses and neighbors, and his block always represented a piece of his heart. I look forward to it becoming part of his legacy.”
Fourth Street between State Street and Broadway is the location of Loporto Ristorante Caffe, Michael’s family-run Italian restaurant that has operated in downtown Troy since 1991.
About Michael Lo Porto:
Michael was born in February 1952, in Santa Caterina Villarmosa, Sicily, Italy to parents Carmelo Lo Porto and Francesca Nicosia. He came to the United States in 1970, at 18 years old to start his life in America with $15 in his pocket. Michael worked construction and dabbled in everything from a disco instructor, working in pizzerias, hair salon owner, and eventually working in the service industry in countless restaurants coast to coast.
In 1985, Michael opened his first restaurant, Michael Anthony’s, and later opened a second location, Michael Anthony’s II, which became LoPorto’s on the Lake in Lake George. In 1996, he owned and operated Lo Porto at the Sign of the Tree in the Empire State Plaza for ten years. In 1987, he and his brother started LoPorto’s Catering, and in 1991, they opened LoPorto Ristorante Caffe, an authentic Italian restaurant, the first five-star restaurant in the Capital District, quickly becoming a staple in Troy and a place he called home.
Michael was known for catering fabulous large-scale events and owned other businesses throughout his life. He was a Certified Executive Chef, AAC, President of the American Chef Association, and was honored as chef of the year in 1995. He cooked for celebrities, including Julia Child’s retirement at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, Martin Scorsese in his own restaurant in Troy, many other celebrities and politicians, and was a guest of the White House as he made ornaments for the Christmas tree during the Clinton administration.
Michael was inducted into the National Academy of Chefs in 1997, was a two-time time host of the prestigious Chaine des Rotisseur and was the winner of over two dozen Gold, Silver, and Bronze ACF Medals. He created Cuisine Magic, serving as honorary event chair which helped raise millions of dollars for the Eddy Visiting Nurses. He served a term on the Troy City Council as a Member at Large. He was a Kokorokan karate black belt, loved to watch and play soccer with his friends until his 60s, foraged mushrooms, played cards with his friends at the coffee shop, enjoyed hunting, and loved gardening, planting many fruit and lemon trees. He loved sitting in front of the restaurant with friends and family, smoking a cigar, drinking espresso, entertaining customers, and made everyone who walked by feel like part of the family.
Michael’s most significant and proudest accomplishment was his family. He loved his wife, two daughters, and two grandsons with all his heart and saw them almost every day. He was the definition of a people person and would light up a room with his larger-than-life presence.
Michael passed away on Thursday, February 24, 2022, at Albany Medical Center, surrounded by his loving family after a three-and-a-half-year battle with multiple myeloma cancer.
John Salka, Communications Director
[email protected] / (518) 279-7131