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September 21, 2023

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BG24 Newscast
September 21, 2023

Celebrating 35 years of success

SamB’s Restaurant is celebrating 35 years of unusual and rich history and is looking to further its success with the recent addition of Executive Chef Bill Bartlett.

SamB’s, named after French absurdist writer Samuel Beckett, was opened in 1972 by three University students who felt that Northwest Ohio needed a new taste.

Allen Powell, David Kresak and Jim Ferrell became the first to serve submarine sandwiches in Bowling Green.

“We felt there was a need for a sandwich shop in Bowling Green,” Ferrell, who is still the current owner, said. “This predates Subway and there were no businesses selling subs in 1972.”

SamB’s was originally located at 107 State St., which is now where Campus Quarters sits.

At the end of 1972, Powell and Kresak decided to leave the business but Ferrell wanted to pursue his interest in the restaurant business.

“I was already invested in it and it had caught my interest,” Ferrell said. “I am one by nature that doesn’t give up on things. It became part of me.”

The evolution of SamB’s began in 1974 when Ferrell acquired a license that allowed him to add a small carryout to his business.

In 1975, Ferrell obtained a liquor license and major renovations took place with the addition of a better dining room, a bar and a patio.

After 13 years in Bowling Green SamB’s closed in 1985, due to an “excellent offer by Aspen Partnership,” according to a 1988 BG News article.

Ferrell moved back to his home state of New Jersey until 1988, when he reopened SamB’s in the spring at 146 N. Main St. which is the current location of Beckett’s.

In 1997 he bought Kaufman’s restaurant which is where SamB’s is currently located.

In 2002 he closed Kaufman’s and moved SamB’s into the building to allow the restaurant to grow and he turned the old location into Beckett’s Pub.

In January of this year Ferrell realized that he needed someone in the kitchen with knowledge and experience, and in spring he brought in Executive Chef Bill Bartlett to fill those gaps.

“When Bill started to work here I found it to be a great relief to me because of his leadership and knowledge,” Ferrell said.

Manager Sandy Daum believes that Bartlett’s experience will make SamB’s a better restaurant.

“He has so much experience. He has experience in the back of the house and the front of the house,” Daum said. “With his experience he can bring fresh ideas.”

Bartlett’s decision to come to SamB’s was influenced by the fact that the restaurant is an independent business.

“SamB’s is a little more of a family environment and is less-corporate than what I was involved with,” Bartlett said.

Ferrell is proud of the accomplishments and all the years of hard work that has gone into SamB’s.

“I take a lot of pride in the evolution of SamB’s and the quality that we achieved,” Ferrell said.

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