Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Legendary NY Jewish restaurant Sammy’s Roumanian closes but vows to reopen after the COVID era

(JTA) — Sammy’s Roumanian Steakhouse, the Lower East Side restaurant known for serving huge pieces of meat alongside jars of schmaltz and bowls of chopped liver, has closed — for now.

The eatery’s owner, David Zimmerman, confirmed the closure to Gothamist on Sunday but added that he hopes to revive the restaurant in a new location when things are “somewhat back to normal,” after the COVID crisis that has decimated the dining industry.

“Without question it has been the toughest year for all of us and everyone in our industry,” Zimmerman said. “We can’t wait and hope to see everyone enjoying latkes, vodka, chopped liver and steaks once again. We need this horrible time to pass and bring Sammy’s back so we can celebrate again.”

The restaurant, stationed in a dingy basement location on Chrystie Street for decades, was almost equally known for its Jewish wedding party-style atmosphere as for its “Jewish-style comfort foods.”

“Sammy’s Roumanian is more than just a restaurant. It’s a community. A celebration of tradition. An experience difficult to put into words,” the restaurant said in an Instagram post on Sunday. “It’s where families come to dine weekly, where partygoers begin their night (if they survive the frozen vodka), and where Simchas are celebrated. It‘s a place where you can be yourself, make friends, discover what a Shiksa is, and maybe even get called out as one too.

“So chins up fellow schmaltzers. All the years of devouring chopped liver with our special schmaltz, schmered on rye bread with a side of pickles and a shot (or glass) of frozen vodka to wash it down will be remembered fondly. We may be closed now, but when all this is over and we feel safe enough to hold hands during the hora, we will be back stronger, louder, and tastier than ever before. We are New York. We will survive this.”

Engage

  • Events

    Haart to Haart

    Virtual

    Dec 7, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    A conversation with Julia Haart and her son Shlomo, stars of Netflix's 'My Unorthodox Life,' about the new season and much more.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.