Sam’s Southern Eatery, a cajun-style restaurant known for plentiful portions, is opening it’s 81st location on Tuesday, October 8th.
The restaurant has moved into the former Mariachi’s building at 715 N. 9th St, just off of Highway 97 (across 9th street from Kum & Go). It will be open on Monday-Saturday from 10 am to 9 pm, and on Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm.
To celebrate their opening, they’re offering a free drink with your meal to the first 100 people through the door on opening day.
Calling itself “The Home of the Jumbo Shrimp,” the fast-expanding restaurant has only been around since 2008, with its first location being in Shreveport, Louisiana. That same year, they began opening more locations, and now have more than 80 locations in 13 states, with one in Okmulgee, another in Tulsa, and another in Muskogee.
We met site developer “Michael” Kalel last Friday and he said two weeks after they open this location, they’d be opening another in Ponca City.
It’s important to make the distinction between what Sam’s calls “Home Style Southern Cooking,” and what you might think of as Southern cooking.
While burgers and chicken—staples of the south, for sure—are on the menu, they’re obviously not the main choice. Po’ Boys and Seafood are meant to be the main attraction and Michael points out, usually are the best sellers. “Number 26 (3 fish, 3 shrimp) is our best-seller,” Kalel says. “Number 3 (Philly Cheesesteak) is also very popular.”
Don’t come expecting chicken fried steak or collard greens, but if you’re in the mood for a Tilapia platter or a Crawfish Po’Boy, Sam’s has you covered.
According to Kalel, everything is made from scratch, using their own recipes. “Everything is cooked to order,” he says, “even the breading of the fish. It happens here, it doesn’t come like that.”
As part of a personal guarantee, Kalel says he has a policy of getting your food out to you in 15 to 20 minutes, “unless we’re just absolutely slammed,” he said.
The restaurant comes at a time where seafood is becoming scarce in Sapulpa—the Long John Silvers/A&W Restaurant closed last month, it’s empty building still standing.
The location was previously the Kum & Go location before it moved next door, and afterward was a handful of short-lived restaurants before Sam’s got ahold of it.
“We had gotten a few phone calls and social media messages about coming to Sapulpa,” Kalel told Sapulpa Times. “We came and met the owner and he told us about this location.”
According to Kalel, who’s a site developer for the chain and has been working with them since 2011, one of the chain’s specialties is taking other restaurants that aren’t doing so well and giving them “a chance to join the family.”
Kalel says that 30% of Sam’s Southern Eateries are derived from failing restaurants. The chain isn’t particular about what the restaurant currently is, only what it could be. “We’ve had Chinese restaurants, Seafood restaurants, all kinds,” Kalel said.
With the addition of Sushi One last year, and more recently, the Chang Thai Food Truck—that oh, by the way, is reportedly looking for a good spot to open a sit-down restaurant—Sapulpa seems to be catching a wave of change happening in its dinner choices.