New Owners Prepare to Reopen an Updated Sammy T’s
A group of long-time Fredericksburg friends nearing retirement decided it was an opportunity too good to pass up, and will soon open an updated version of downtown’s popular Sammy T’s restaurant.
“It was fate,” said Al Littek, who noticed the property was available while walking downtown and called his friends. “I told them, ‘Let’s make it fun for us and for all the people who come in here,'” he said.
Al and Rena Littek, Ray and Laura Stoner, and Frank and Ana Robinson plan to keep a little of the pub feel that was traditionally Sammy T’s, but brighten it up with new seating, new lighting, and a renovated bar with televisions for sports fans. “We’re going to make it a little more of a social gathering place,” Ray said.
The new owners have Sammy T’s recipes, and will incorporate some of them into their new menu.
“We’re going to save all the favorite items on the menu for the vegetarians, and add new menu items we’re developing together” Laura Stoner said. Laura and her husband Ray have previously owned restaurants, including the former Arbuckles Restaurant in Fredericksburg and Battletown Inn in Berryville, Virginia.
The new menu will also include bar snacks, dinner entrees, and Sunday brunch.
In the future, they plan to add delivery and catering, and turn the back room, which was the frozen yogurt shop, into a private dining room.
They’re interviewing for a chef and staff. Laura will also be in the kitchen.
The group is excited to be continuing the tradition of Sammy T’s. “We all grew up in Fredericksburg, and can remember when the shopping center came to town,” Al said. “Sam had the courage to come downtown when everyone was leaving.” Sam — University of Mary Washington Geography Professor Dr. Samuel T. Emory — and his wife Sylvia “Sibby” Emory opened Sammy T’s on Valentine’s Day in 1981.
Their son Samuel Emory III became sole owner after his parents’ deaths. When he died in 2010, four cousins, who do not live locally, inherited the business. They sold it in October 2016.
The new owners — who’ve nicknamed themselves “The Fun Bunch” — said they’d love to reopen within 30 days, but know it all depends on renovations and permits. They’re aiming for early 2017.
“More than anything, we want Sammy T’s to be a comfortable, fun place,” Al said.
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