By H. Haveman
Sammy and Marie Chioda realized a dream when they opened Sammy C’s Rock N’ Sports Pub and Grille four-and-a-half years ago. It was the result of years of planning and the desire to give back to the community that they love. Recently, all the preparation and hard work of running one of Gallup’s biggest eateries has been recognized – on a national level.
Sammy C’s has been named as one of CNN’s 101 Best Sports Bars in the U.S., and was the only listing for New Mexico. Sammy’s made the list due to certain criteria, which are met and exceeded: “A truly great sports bar must be awash in TVs, offer an inordinate selection of beers and excel at frying chicken in some form or other. It’s also got to make watching sports central to the experience” (cnngo.com). According to Sammy, “It’s affirmation of what we’re trying to do.” It’s all about Gallup and doing something that Gallup can take pride in.
The restaurant appeals to anyone and everyone; you don’t have to be a sports fan to enjoy the atmosphere created by the impressive collection of memorabilia that adorns the interior. Sammy C’s provides entertainment through live music, karaoke, and pool tables, in addition to the variety of sporting events that they show. The menu offers an assortment of snacks, meals, and drinks to satisfy any craving from breakfast to after-dinner dessert. Families, couples, and large groups will all find something to love about Sammy C’s.
The community has embraced Sammy C’s, which the Chiodas deeply appreciate. It’s a favorite of locals and tourists alike. Sammy knows out-of-towners who make Sammy C’s a scheduled stop whenever they’re traveling through the area. And the recognition has gotten a good response statewide; folks from Albuquerque and elsewhere in New Mexico are rallying in support of Sammy C’s.
The City of Gallup recently awarded the Chiodas with an official proclamation in honor of all they have done for the community through Sammy C’s. It really says something special about the direction Gallup is moving, to have one of our bars make this national list. “People don’t expect something like this in Gallup,” says Sammy. Sammy C’s Rock N’ Sports Pub and Grille is classy and responsible and good for Gallup. Congratulations!