After 50 Years, Legendary Albany Restaurant Has Tearful Goodbye
A legendary Italian restaurant closed its doors for good after 50 plus years of serving up pasta, parm, pizza, and other delicious Italian comfort foods in Albany. The restaurant's success was fueled by Italian immigrants who came to the United States with a few dollars, a tremendous work ethic, and an American dream back in 1956. Only to have it crushed by the pandemic 65 years later.
Nestled on the corner of Southern Blvd. and Kehoe Street in Albany, Sam's Italian Restaurant announced that they're closing their doors for good according to News 10 ABC.
The family-owned restaurant, known for its huge portions, great value, and classic chicken parm night, became yet another casualty of the pandemic that has claimed so many businesses throughout the Capital Region.
"We did our best to stick it to covid and stand to our values, but the ever-rising prices of foodstuffs and the depleted work force, amongst other issues have forced our hands." -Sam's Restaurant Albany Facebook
According to the report by News 10 ABC, three generations of the Rappoccio family who have owned and operated Sam's since 1971, gathered inside the beloved restaurant on Tuesday sharing stories, laughs, and tears during the emotional sendoff.
The family story is as classic as grandma's homemade sauce recipe, and quite frankly, the report from News 10 ABC gave me an even deeper appreciation for this historic restaurant that I was already quite fond of.
The news station explained that in 1956, Sam Rappoccio came to the U.S. from Southern Italy and moved to Southern Blvd. in Albany. A few years later, he would go on to purchase a nearby grocery store. After the success of the store, according to News 10, he purchased a brick oven and started making and selling homemade pizza out of his basement. When he needed more space, he utilized the garage, and eventually the family had enough money to open up Sam's in 1971.
In the restaurant's heavy-hearted Facebook post from July 8th, you can tell how hard this has been on the family. Sam's will surely be missed.