Updated 5/17: Sammy's received the OK from Community Board 3.
Break out the jars of schmaltz! NYC classic Sammy's Roumanian Steakhouse is on the comeback trail.
Yesterday, Community Board 3 released its May calendar... and a familiar name is on the SLA & DCA Licensing Committee docket for May 15... this 2,500-square-foot space.
Sammy's closed in early January 2021 after 47 years of serving up ice-encased vodka, smeared pitchers of schmaltz and enormous platters of meat from the lower level at 151 Chrystie St.
The restaurant had been shuttered since the PAUSE of March 2020, and this wasn't a business ready-made for delivery or outdoor dining.
In an Instagram post at the time, owner David Zimmerman left the door open for a return.
We may be closed now, but when all this is over and we feel safe enough to hold hands during the hora, we will be back stronger, louder, and tastier than ever before. We are New York. We will survive this. We will always cherish the memories we shared with all of you.
First, though, Sammy's will need to get approval from CB3. The space has been vacant since the Sixth Ward lost its liquor license in 2015 after eight years in business for reportedly serving burgers and steaks when it had applied for the requisite permits by stating it would sell vegetarian fare.
The bar had long drawn criticism from locals. In a denial for a new concept at the address in March 2022, the CB3 minutes state that the Sixth Ward "was a known problem... with SLA complaints of operating beyond its stipulations, operating beyond the legal capacity without applying for a certificate of occupancy, and using an illegal back yard that did not meet DOB requirements."
While this has nothing to do with Sammy's, the stigma of previous tenants can make it challenging for new applicants. Community groups and some residents have also spoken out against new applicants looking to open in this area below Houston dubbed Hell Square.