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Sam's Italian American Restaurant:

 serving The Capital district since 1971

A Love Story



Our story begins over sixty years ago, in Montemurro, a province of Potenza, where

Salvatore Rappoccio fell in love with Angela Santalucia, the sister of his friend Michael. Angela refused to marry Salvatore until he was released from the army, and could afford a wedding ring. So ten years she waited for him to return to her. He did and they were married and had three children. Carmela, who was born in her grandfather's Restaurant-Inn, Paolo and Caterina. In 1955 Salvatore was called over to the United States by his sister Anna Robilotto, and he worked for five years until he saved enough money to bring his family over.

In 1965 Salvatore, now known as Sam, and Angela opened up a grocery store, and in 1968 they began to sell pizzas and Italian Specialties out of the back of the store. In 1971 the Rappoccio family completely renovated the building and Sam's Italian American Restaurant was established. After he lost his sight in 1979, Sam continued to work, peeling garlic and eggplant with immaculate precision and he never lost his unique sense of humor. He would send new help to the attic to find a three legged chicken, or to the bar to fill a strainer up with beer. He would tell people that his cane was scented so that he could find it if he lost it. When you leaned in to find out for yourself, POP. he would give you a slight knock as he chukled to himself. Angelina was the backbone of the restaurant. She and her friend of 35 yr, Severina, would work in the basement kitchen, preparing all the foods from old world recipes they carried over the ocean in their heads.

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