Earlier today we mentioned the speculation around the fate of Sammy’s Roumanian Steakhouse, the legendary Lower East Side spot famous for giant slabs of meat, jars of schmaltz on each table and a rollicking below-ground bar mitzvah party atmosphere that seemingly never ended. Sadly, the party is over at Sammy’s at least for now.
Following a social media post from the local chroniclers James and Karla Murray. the owners explained what’s happening. Here’s what they had to say via their Instagram account:
To our dearest guests and friends,
It is with great sadness that we announce that the rumors are true and we have had to shut the doors to the infamous basement.
Sammy’s Roumanian is more than just a restaurant. It’s a community. A celebration of tradition. An experience difficult to put into words. It’s where families come to dine weekly, where partygoers begin their night (if they survive the frozen vodka), and where Simchas are celebrated. It‘s a place where you can be yourself, make friends, discover what a Shiksa is, and maybe even get called out as one too. Above all, it’s a place where everyone feels at home, welcome, and part of a larger family.
What began 47 years ago in a basement in the Lower East Side, on grungy Chrystie Street, grew into a place that welcomed hundreds of thousands of guests and employed thousands of people over the years.
We sincerely want to thank all of our valued guests and especially our staff for keeping us alive and kicking all these years. Our heart breaks for our employees and all the others affected by the pandemic in our community and across the globe. It’s truly tragic yet we are extremely humbled by all your support. To survive 47 years is an accomplishment which we are proud of. And we could not have done it without all of you.
So chins up fellow schmaltzers. All the years of devouring chopped liver with our special schmaltz, schmered on rye bread with a side of pickles and a shot (or glass) of frozen vodka to wash it down will be remembered fondly. 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.
As we move forward, we ask our friends and guests to help us keep the Sammy’s tradition going. We want to stay engaged and keep you informed. A few ways to help:
1. Share with us your favorite photos and videos and tag @famous_sammys
2. Share our profile and help us reach more followers
3. Keep following for further updates
Gothamist got in touch with Sammy’s owner David Zimmerman today, who seemed optimistic that the restaurant will resurface in a new location, although he indicated there’s no target date for reopening. The pandemic will need to have fully subsided in order for Sammy’s to operate. We’re all pulling for a revival.