Executive chef Alfre Szeprethy. Photo by Hoa Quach

Sami Ladeki, founder of the beloved Sammy’s restaurant chain, this month opened his 12th location in Chula Vista’s Seven Mile Casino, unveiling an expanded menu that includes Asian dishes. 

Ladeki, who first opened Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza in 1989 in La Jolla, said his Chula Vista eatery will carry many customer favorites, including the woodfired pizzas, but will also introduce new entrees. Despite the hardships that have risen with the pandemic, Ladeki said the last year and a half gave him the opportunity to grow his business. 

“The pandemic has been hard for so many restaurants, and small businesses alike, but if the pandemic has offered us anything, it has been a chance for owners to work on the business rather than in to the day-to-day of the business,” Ladeki said. “Even though many of these plans have been in process, the last year-plus has given us the opportunity to focus on growth, relationships and branding to offer the best to our communities.”  

Grilled short rib at Sammy’s Restaurant & Bar in Chula Vista. Photo by Hoa Quach

Sammy’s Restaurant & Bar in Chula Vista will be open 24 hours a day and will offer guests dishes such as roast duck wonton noodle soup, beef pho and Kung Pao chicken, among other popular Asian dishes. Across all Sammy’s locations in California and Nevada, the company expanded their menus. 

Alfre Szeprethy, executive chef of Sammy’s for 10 years, said he’s thrilled to lead his staff as they expand the menu to cater to changing times. 

“Everyone has always known us for our pizzas, pastas and salads so it means a lot to be a part of the re-branding,” Szeprethy said. “In expanding and keeping up with trends, we’ve added close to 30 entrees.” 

Szeprethy said “there are items on our menu that we’ve had since Day 1 — since we opened in 1989 and they will be on the menu until the end — but in the meantime it’s nice to introduce new entrees.” 

Sammy’s Restaurant & Bar at Seven Mile Casino is located at 285 Bay Blvd in Chula Vista. For more information or for a list of all locations, go to sammyspizza.com.

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