May 11, 2018
The venue might be new but the name is anything but. The original Sam’s was the precursor to Red Robin and the owner of this new venture is part of the family who launched the famous burger chain. The 21st century Sam’s is a classic American tavern with a rugged roadhouse vibe. Occupying the former home of Chino’s on Capitol Hill, the space has been refitted with reclaimed wood tables, a bar inset with an array of shiny copper pennies and a dramatic antler chandelier. This is not a place that cares over-much for trends and fashions; the cocktails aren’t ‘craft’ but they are well-made and everything is solid and satisfying in a sturdily American way. They serve classic drinks Moscow Mule, Gin and Juice, and a Manhattan with a Fireball-infused cherry and beer by the bottle or can. Prices are incredibly reasonable, both in terms of drinks and food (check out the $6 ‘all-day happy hour’). Gourmet burgers come with ‘endless’ fries: try the 50/50, which as the name suggests is half kobe, half hickory smoked bacon, or the Juicy Lucy, which comes with brie and sautéed onions: Adam Richman would have a field day here. The atmosphere is fun and upbeat, casual in the best way and ever so slightly boisterous, while the place caters to an appealingly mixed crowd.