“Built on passion”
Welcome to Sam's! We are the only licensed certified angus beef restaurant in the area!We feature fresh seafood dishes and certified angus beef cuts as well as a light fare menu with meals starting at only $7. ~Head Chef Joseph Pagano --- Sam Vahaviolos came to Cortland, New York, when he was 22 years old. He lived with his sister, Katherine Orfan and worked at Smith Corona. Six months later he moved to Ithaca, New York, where he worked as a dishwasher in a Greek diner. Within six months he decided it was time to learn to cook. In 1974 he and a friend of his, named Pete Zaharius, moved to Johnstown, New York, where they opened Romana’s Pizzeria, along with a third partner, John Poulas. The three men together ran the small restaurant known for its delicious food and large portions. The Romana’s business quickly took off. After a year in business, John left the restaurant. Pete and Sam continued running the business until 1985, when Pete decided to return to Greece, and Sam remained as the sole owner of Romana’s. In 1979, Sam returned to Greece to marry his wife, Antonia, and brought her back to Johnstown to reside together and raise their two sons: Konstantinos (Dino), born in 1980, and Tryfonos, born in 1981.In 1982, Sam purchased a building in Gloversville, New York, where he opened, owned and operated another restaurant, called Sparta, an establishment serving the food similar to his Romana’s restaurant. He ran both establishments for three years before he decided to sell the Sparta building.An ambitious man, Sam also bottled and sold his own marinara sauce for many years, which gave his customers a little taste of Romana’s for their families to enjoy at home.In the summer of 1988, he and his family moved to Worchester, MA, where he would raise his sons with Greek family traditions. While still running the Romana’s restaurant, he would commute back and forth for the next six years. In 1994 the family moved back to Johnstown, after he felt it was too much for him to keep commuting; with his family by his side, they devoted their lives to running Romana’s. As the restaurant’s customer base grew, Sam renovated the restaurant three times, with the last one in 1989. People used to line up every weekend just to enjoy the delicious food that Romana’s had to offer…. And even today, the restaurant is still going strong.In 2009, Sam purchased this building that formerly housed Ponderosa Restaurant. His intention was to move Romana’s to this location, but felt it was too difficult to renovate the kitchen to accommodate its needs, so he decided instead to open yet another restaurant with a totally different cuisine and atmosphere.It is Sam’s wish that this establishment, too, will evolve into a popular eatery for many more years to come. Sam with his wonderful chefs, and staff look forward to making your visit to Sam’s Seafood Steakhouse an atmosphere to remember, that you’ll want to experience again and again.
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Sam's Seafood & Steakhouse
- Mon, Wed - Sat: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
- Sun: 12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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