Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sam's Restaurant On Court Street Temporarily Closed By NYC Department Of Health

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 7.11.51 PM
photo credit: Dennis Berman

Sam's Restaurant, the old-time Italian restaurant at 238 Court Street that was founded in 1930, has been temporarily closed by the NYC Health Department. The photos above were taken by Dennis Berman on Thursday.

A quick check on the Health Department's web site shows that Sam's was inspected on March 26th and received a score of 27. The eatery was sited for several 'critical' violations, but has retained an A rating. Obviously, the Department re-inspected the place in the last day or two. As per the web site, the Health Department monitors "inspections at a restaurant that has performed very poorly on its re-inspection. The Health Department may continue to inspect the restaurant roughly once a month until it scores below 28 or the Department closes it for serious and persistent violations."

Let's hope that Sam's gets a handle on the problem and gets to re-open quickly.


Trumbull Bully said...

Upset Bully here...

This is one of Bully's favorite place to enjoy a pizza pie (do not request a slice, I'm still recovering...). Hopefully Louie gets his act together and we can all enjoy the wonderful food again soon.

Katia said...

For once, we agree, Trumbully.

chance bliss said...

here's an example of a treasured institution in the neighborhood that i'd like to see embrace a few changes to better reflect our times.

for starters, getting their hygiene standards up to code would be nice, but, more importantly, i'd love to see an attitude adjustment with the son who runs the place.

having heard good things about the pizza from our landlord, and having been instructed to only ask for whole pies, i've been in there twice but never had a chance to sample the food. in each case, i was accompanied by three people, of which i was the only one who is white, and, in each case, the restaurant was virtually empty of customers while we arrived during early evening dining hours... and, in each case, we were turned away, as louie told us that there were no seats available for us.

we were four adults, dressed appropriately for the occasion, all of us over thirty years old, and we were turned down for what appeared to be a contrived reason. i could see at least six or seven available tables. so it goes.

i understand that the owner has a reputation for being temperamental and eccentric - so, the first time, while somewhat confused, i didn't take it personally.

the second time, however, when i returned six or seven weeks later, again with my wife and two friends, we were met with the same form of rudeness, and then it was not hard to draw a conclusion that we were not welcome there.

on one hand, that's fine. a restaurant can decide who it wants to attract as customers and which interests it wants to serve. we don't all have to have the same point of view or be best friends.

now, we've dined in many of the other restaurants in the neighborhood, sampling as many of the old places that we could (while they are still there) and taking in some of the new places too. have never had an issue with being turned away with any of these other restaurants so why has it happened twice at sam's?

on the other hand, amongst many of my friends, sam's is a no-go zone because there's a common perception that louie and the staff is racist and during my two visits, it was hard not to draw the same conclusion. it feels like a scene out of DO THE RIGHT THING, where louie plays the part of pino. that's a crime.

i'd like to see some changes, otherwise, i won't be sad to see sam's go - as one day, it inevitably will. that's the kind of change one can count on.

Carol Garden said...

Katia - You and all of your readers need to be aware of the fact that "chance bliss" is a real estate troll who is trying to portray Louie as a racist in order to destroy his business and force him to sell the building (which he owns) to a real estate developer. Don't be fooled by the casual tone and wording of the "chance bliss" post. It's a disgusting strategy that unfortunately is becoming more common as real estate values continue to climb in our neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't turned away (I'm Asian) BUT i did sense some hostility/snarkiness toward my husband, who is from Connecticut. The pizza is really good, as good as Lucalis without the hassle, but I'd rather put up with the hassle than the rude attitude. I have a high tolerance for bad service but can't put up with his crap.

Anonymous said...

I also was turned away in 2007 and haven't been back.

Rasied in C.G. said...

The new trend is to pay a lawyer to negotiate a Health Dept grade -and I bet Sam's chose not to pay.

Katia, if you recall about 2 years ago there was a Big Push by the DoH to "clean-up" some of the Old Time Businesses which were located in buildings that were ALSO owned by the restaurant.
If you also recall, the neighborhood felt strongly that it was local Real Estate Developers who were reporting these OLD Time places. Happens all the time, they follow the scores and then make Low Ball offers to the owners.

I haven't eaten in Sam's for 20+ years - but for other reasons. The one thing about that family, As long as you had Green in your pocket they didn't care about the color of your skin...
Just don't compalin about a cat jumping on your table,
Don't dare complain that the chicken smells "a bit off",
Just don't order by the slice,
Don't ask "is it true - did you really steer the Queen Mary",
Don't expect anyone to be friendly.