An Albany mainstay for the last 50 years has wrapped up an impressive run.

The pandemic was tough for so many businesses, especially our local restaurants. Despite the challenges, Sam's Italian American Restaurant on Southern Boulevard in Albany stayed open though it all to celebrate 50 years in business back in April. But now, the owners have decided to close the restaurant.

According to a Times Union story, owners Carmela Daubney and her brother Paul Rappoccio decided to close Sam's "...for a variety of reasons, including pandemic difficulties, labor shortages, and a desire to have more time for other pursuits." So while Sam's made it through most of the pandemic, the current challenges of operating in a post-pandemic world seem to have contributed to Sam's closing. Sams was certainly a community favorite and their good eats will be missed!

Not only has the pandemic closed restaurants permanently, but it also forced many to close temporarily for sometimes months at a time. Recently, some have been forced to cut back on hours or days of operation as restaurant owners try to cope with a shortage of employees. While everything on the surface feels like it is quickly rebounding as everything reopens this summer, it is still a bumpy road ahead for our local eateries. So what can we do? Get out there and eat at your favorite local restaurant as much as your wallet will allow this summer! You deserve to get out and be waited on after being stuck inside for so long, and our local eateries and their employees will for sure appreciate the business!

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