Sam’s closing? Fuhgedaboudit! Legendary pizzeria quashes rumors (and, perhaps, our kneecaps)

for The Brooklyn Paper
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You heard it here first, nothing is changing at Sam’s restaurant on Court Street, despite a whirlwind of rumors this week that the creator and head pizza chef, Mario Magliaccio, had retired and was moving back to Italy.

Upon hearing the initial rumor, of course, The Brooklyn Paper headed straight to the classic Carroll Gardens Italian restaurant to bid farewell to the old man.

Instead, we came face to angry face with Louis Magliaccio, Mario’s son, who set the record straight.

“We’re not closing,” he said. “I’m getting sick and tired of this. If I keep hearing these rumors, people are going to pay the ultimate price. If me or any of my family members find anything contrary to [the truth], there’s going to be trouble.

“My friends are very vindictive people,” he added.

Whoa, hey, hey, hey, we’re cool here, whoa! So to reiterate: nothing is changing at Sam’s.

That said, at the risk of getting our noses out of alignment, we do have to report that this rumor, like so many others, started with a semolina grain of truth: Mario’s wife died last year, and the widower is indeed back home in Italy.

But he’s only on vacation. We swear! He’s coming back!

Um, he’s coming back, right?

“He’ll come back when he decides to,” said Louis. “He’s 81, he’s entitled to relax.”

For now, Louis is in charge, and the 60-year-old place feels like it always did (and we’re not just saying that because we like our kneecaps). Louis makes the pizza the same way his old man did, which makes sense, given that he grew up in the restaurant, and in the family’s apartment upstairs.

So there you have it, folks. Head to Sam’s for one of the best pizza pies New York has to offer. Don’t believe us? But Louis Magliaccio told us so!

Updated 5:13 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

RonF from Chelsea says:
Too bad they're closing. We'll miss them!
June 11, 2009, 10:45 am
Peter from Fort Greene says:
Best Pizza in NYC!
June 11, 2009, 11:27 am
freddy from slope says:
the story may have started with a grain of truth, but golly gee, not much reporting muscle went behind the first story.

i spoke with louis today. dont let him find out who started the rumor. he might want some target practice.
June 11, 2009, 6:59 pm
romeo from gravesend says:
ya beddanot close da joint ... i means it!
June 11, 2009, 7:20 pm
Ruthann (Frenchie) says:
I am glad to hear they are not closing. My parents, during their dating years, ate at Sam's after attending a movie at the Court Street theatre. My communion party was at Sam's. It was our family restaurant. I hope to be able to bring my grandson to the family restaurant. For it to survive so long - the food must be good!!!!!
June 11, 2009, 7:31 pm
chris from cobble hill says:
A correction: Mario's wife passed away last month, not last year.

And I think the kneecap comments were in dubious taste.
June 11, 2009, 9:30 pm
Mick Moriarty from Flatbush says:
I spent many a night in Sam's in the last 60's thru '85 with my partner Rich Cannella. Mario and Mrs.Sam were lovely people.Very sorry to hear of Mrs.Magliaccio passing. My condolences to the family.
My favorite at Sam's was the Veal Cutlet Parmasean. The Pizza was one of the best. I spend most of my time in Marco island Fl now but as soon as I return to NY I will make my annual visit to Sam.
June 12, 2009, 10:34 am
Richie Conti from Carrol Gardens says:
I now live in Boca Raton Florida BUT I am in contact with Louie almost weekly by e mail. Each and EVERY time I visit New York I never miss at least one trip to see Louie at Sam's where I have my Large Pie and Two Orders of Baked Clams " The Best " . Sometimes I go to Sam's directly from the airport!!
Sam's is truly one of the few if only places in Carroll Gardens which has stayed the course throughout all the many changes to the old neighborhood. Their food hasn't changed , the place hasn't changed and most of all Louie hasn't changed !!!
Thank GOD and God Bless All of YOU that keep going to Sam's :O)
June 12, 2009, 6:38 pm
A Guy From Brooklyn from Carroll Gardens says:
I didn't even know that Louie could reiterate !! But he makes a mean pizza pie !!
That is why today many of his customes are from other cities. Folks who once knew Carroll Gardens as Red Hook and visited relatives there or lived there. People who have moved but return
because they cannot find what they once had where they live now.
When they return even though hundreds of other restaurants have opened they head for Sam's Restaurant to relive their past's a bit and savor the flavors of Sam's special foods they grew up eating and loving.
Who says " You can never go back " I do and often as I can.
June 12, 2009, 6:58 pm
Skip from New Rochelle (Westchester) says:
I live about 30 min from Sam's and it is worth the trip. I am good friends with Lou and TRUST me they are NOT closing. I try and go down as much as possible and if you have NEVER been you are missing out on some of the BEST Italian food I have EVER eaten.
June 12, 2009, 11:42 pm
Bob from Bucks County PA says:
A friend of mine sent me an e mail with a link to this article. The same friend took my daughters and I to Sam's while we were once visiting him in Brooklyn.
We were all set to have Sam's Great Pizza when my friend suggested the baked clams as well. Well needless to say my daughters had never eaten a clam in their lives never you mind a baked clam. They were not very happy about having to try them at all !!
After some convincing by my friend they agreed to try them and we ended up ordering order after order as they vanished off of their plates right down to the juice. We must have had at least six orders that night. Louie was right there teasing them and cheering them on as they gobbled them down.
You just do not find places like Sam's anymore even in Brooklyn and for sure not in PA.
Sam's should be honored as being one of Brooklyn's Historic Treasures.
We think of Sam's often although now my daughter's are grown and married with children of theor own and it is hard to get back to Brooklyn as my friend himslf no longer lives there but does retirn from tim to time always making a visit to Sam's.
While he is there he sometimes calls me in PA from Brooklyn just to let me know he is sitting there at Sam's having his meal and naturally to tease the heck out of me as well !!!
After seing this article we are now thinking of making the trip to visit Sam's again one day soon and maybe this time with the grandchildren as well.
If for no other reason just to let them taste a real pizza from a real pizza place :O) and of course to see Louie again and have some laughs with him.
June 13, 2009, 10:25 am
PHIL from Staten Island says:
I'm 3rd generation going to Sam's it's the best.
Louie is such a good hearted person and he loves
what he does best.I hope there around for another 80yrs.It's ashamed how people can twist words around and make false comments about Louie.
June 14, 2009, 12:15 am
An Old Neighborhood Guy from Carroll Gradens,Brooklyn !! says:
It amazes me how many polls I see on the internet these days of where to get the " Best Pizza " in a number of cities. Naturally New York City is always on these lists but Sam's never seems to be on the lists which are circulated on the internet.
Are these people who are taking these polls in the dark ? Is Sam's Restaurant Brooklyn's Best Kept Secret ? I for one would like to know where these so called Pizza Critics get there leads from or maybe they just get a few extra bucks or free meals on the side for some free advertising ?
I am so glad to see this article and to see Sam's finally getting it's due recognition.
If not Brooklyn's Best kept secret it surely is One of Brooklyn's True Family Owned and Run Treasures.
It alwasy seems as if the newest places get all the reviews when it comes to pizza while Sam's has been delivering to it's customers great pizza for years !!
My condolences to the family on the loss of their beloved Wife and Mother.
Wishing you many , many years of continued success.
June 14, 2009, 9:42 am
Tommy G from Bklyn says:
Stop the bull——, Mario and Louie are not going anywhere for another 100 yrs.

Keep up the good work we LOVE you all and we are deeply sorry for your loss
June 14, 2009, 3:01 pm
Cathy Staiano from Park Slope says:
Give me a break, the guy has a vowel at the end of his name does not make him a hit man! Louie keep up the good work, my husband & I visit Sam's (Louie) min of Once a week. Love the Pizza & the Food the best (by the way I have a vowel at the end of my name I hope this doesn't make me a gangster???? Get the story straight!
June 15, 2009, 10:21 am
donna from park slope says:
Sam's Restaurant - great food, great service and the best pizza around.
Louie, don't pay attention to what a sterotyping less than average reporter writes, we don't.
June 17, 2009, 10:03 am
The Don from Detroit says:
Hey Lou keep the good food going and don't change for anyone.We all adore you and your family sorry about your mom we will miss her.
June 17, 2009, 7:16 pm
Bob Conti from Carrol Gardens says:
My family and I have been going to Sam's for the best pizza in Brooklyn and New York for more years than I want to count. Not only is the pizza terrific, but I love the baked clams and the steak pizzaiola! Best I've had anywhere!! All of this for years, and Louie, the Brooklyn charmer to boot! Anytime relatives who have moved out of town come in for a visit, the first place we gather is at Sam's where we not only love the food, but the back and forth kidding with Louie!

Bob Conti
June 19, 2009, 2:14 pm
peter from bayridge says:
This Pizza made me go to the Bathroom it gave me the runs and had to go to the hospital i will miss it and i hope to survive
July 3, 2009, 12:02 pm

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