Sammy Vela is a sports fan who has always been surrounded by great cooking. He learned in his “mama’s kitchen” at an early age what it meant to “cook with love.” Exceptional cuisine became his passion, and he always knew that someday he’d be a restaurateur. “It was a calling,” says Sammy, who credits his desire to serve others and his passion for great food.
He learned restaurant management from the ground up as a teenager after accepting his first “official” job at a fast-food establishment – and never looked back. “I learned about speed, efficiency and service, and took those skills to other restaurants,” he says. Most notably, he was employed at Outback over the course of 15 years. His plan was to “piece it all together” and discover the secret of how (and how not) to operate a restaurant.
He realized that customers simply wanted a night out to mingle or just to escape the pressures of the office. He opened Sammy’s Sports Grill (formerly Stadia Sports Grill) in Villagio to the delight of Katyites who wanted a local place to dine, watch games on big screen televisions, and enjoy a family-friendly environment. “We are your home away from home—and we do the cooking for you,” he says, noting that it really is all about family. His wife Berta and their daughters Koryn and Lexi often stop by to help with the family owned and operated enterprise.
He and his family attend Trinity Baptist Church and thank God for the success of his business. The restaurant industry is challenging and competitive, and Sammy has invested as much prayer as he has equity into Sammy’s Sports Grill. He’s also a supporter of community events and charities, and is pictured (wearing the pink shirt) at the Chris Saiz Point the Way foundation Golf Tournament.
Katyites love football, baseball, soccer, wrestling and more… and Sammy endeavors to ensure his Sports Grill is the go-to location for a great social environment… and his famous wings! He invites friends and neighbors to pressure down, kick back, and enjoy the game. “Hang out with friends, celebrate a special occasion, and enjoy food you can share,” he says. Check out his website at www.sammyssportsbarandgrill.com.