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Information on ‘Sam the Greek’ sought

March 3, 2016
By Marybelle Beigh - Westfield Historian , Westfield Republican

Overheard: A recent conversation between the Westfield historian and a local resident who also grew up in Westfield in the 1940s and 1950s:

"Do you remember 'Sam the Greek' or his restaurant?"

"I remember the name wasn't he just past the jog on Main Street?'

Article Photos

Submitted photo
This is a 1952 photo of “Sam the Greek” in his restaurant.

"No, that was Tony's - the Olympian - ice cream parlor, candy store Sam's place was on North Portage, in the Theater Block. Here, let me show you a photo"

The historian shows the resident a photo, circa 1934, of the second Grand Theatre at the north end of the Carlson Block brick building, which was at the northwest corner of Main and Portage, with a little wooden building next door, and a sign reading "RESTAURANT" over the door and windows.

"Oh, come on now! That was before my time, and yours too!"

"Right! But Sam's Restaurant was still there in the same building after the third, Art Deco Grand Theatre was built. One of my classmates remembers the place from when we were teens. Here, let me show you another photo."

This photo shows the interior of the restaurant, and behind the counter is "Sam, the Greek" wearing a smile, a moustache, and a white shirt and bow tie. He's holding a coffee mug and looks ready to offer us the same. Behind Sam, on the wall, is a menu board of sandwiches and prices.

"What's that say, on the back?"

"Sold Baker - 4-17-56 Burt Osborne. J'town (coverall)."

"Oh, it has on the other end, '1952 Sam Spiridon Stromboulis (Thomas).'"

The Westfield historian goes off to research the April 1956 Republican Newspapers on microfilm at the Patterson Library - nothing found - BIG SIGH! - more searching - one article found that mentions Sam's Restaurant - WR Oct. 22, 1941. "THE PANORAM MACHINES ARE HERE. That much discussed Jimmy Roosevelt's Panoram moves are here. Two are located in Westfield, one at Same's Restaurant and the other at at Washburn's Tap Room. It's the nearest thing to television. You not only hear the band or singers but you see them in action. The selections are changed weekly be sure to stop in at Sam's"

Another photo is found in Westfield historian files - an enlargement of the other one of Sam. Handwritten on the back by (the late) Mrs. Frances Anderson is the following:

"This is Sam, the Greek, Strombolus who had a luncheonette in the Theater Block on N. Portage Street for many years. His 'Texas Hots,' hot dogs with his own chili sauce, were delicious. Note - sandwiches were 15 to 25 cents each. Pie was 20 cents per slice. The photo was taken probably in the late '40's or early '50's."

If anyone has more information - particularly photos, ephemera, newspaper articles, obits, etc., please contact the Westfield historian at westfieldhistorian@fairpoint.net or 716-397-9254. It would be sad to lose the memories of another Westfield "treasure." Thanks.

 
 
 

 

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