Business & Real Estate

Sam’s Kosher Style deli in Fair Oaks closing on St. Patrick’s Day

Sam’s Kosher Style Restaurant & Deli in Fair Oaks, known for its super-size sandwiches and local roots stretching back more than 50 years, will close at the end of business next Monday, St. Patrick’s Day.

Owner Bruce Blackman, 70, cited personal and health reasons for closing the business, adding: “St. Patrick’s Day has always been my best day, so I thought I might as well go out with a bang.”

Blackman’s role with the restaurant at 8121 Greenback Lane began in 1996, but the restaurant’s history dates back further – more than 50 years to Brother’s Deli in Town & Country Village.

The lineage goes like this: Sam Horan was regarded as one of Sacramento’s top-tier kosher-style delicatessens, receiving his early training in a Detroit deli. He opened Brother’s Deli in Sacramento in 1961. Sam later sold Brother’s and opened his own place, Sam’s, in 1976. After Horan died, his wife, Cleo, maintained the kosher tradition.

In 1996, Bruce and Etty Blackman relocated to Sacramento after running Muller’s Deli on Castro Street in San Francisco for 26 years. The couple bought Sam’s from Horan’s widow and kept the name.

Bruce Blackman said Monday that the immediate future of the Fair Oaks site is in negotiations but that he will be out for good when business closes on March 17.

Over the years, Sam’s has been known for lumberjack-appetite sandwiches piled high with cuts of meat. Corned beef, pastrami, salami, Black Forest ham and beef tongue were popular choices. Matzo ball soup also was featured.

Sam’s touted itself as a place “where a sandwich is a banquet.” Some customers thought Sam’s sandwiches were “sometimes too big,” Blackman said, “but not for me.”

Yvonne Hoskins, who has worked on Sam’s server staff for more than 10 years, said many regular customers have been coming to Sam’s “since they were children. … For years, I’ve seen the same exact people come in and order the same exact thing. They just love it.”

She said Sam’s has about eight employees.