He opened Sam and Tony’s in 1990 at 243 W. Market St., a location that most avoided. There was an adult bookstore across the street. None of the neighboring buildings were kept up. But it was a five-minute walk from his home on West Philadelphia Street – and he was up for the challenge.
Sam and Tony’s – named after his father and father-in-law – was a place for him to have an extra income but most important, to have a social outlet.
He won’t hesitate to hug or kiss an old customer that he runs into on the street. It’s the same greeting he’s given them for years. They were engaged, had their weddings and celebrate baptisms in his restaurant.
“I’ve spent half of my life in York and there’s no better place,” he says. “My only regret is that when I’m at a period in my life where my time is almost up, that I can’t be part of all the incredible things that are happening here. My mind has the ambition, my body doesn’t always have the strength.”