Chef Marco Victoria cooks Italian sausage and peppers Tuesday in a menu training session at Sambrulos in Grand Chute. / Dan Powers/Post-Crescent Media
The new Sambrulos name is memorable if you think of the three owners’ names — Sam, Bruce and Carlos.
Sambrulos Pub & Grill opened today, Friday, at 3775 W. College Ave., the former O’Charley’s site in Grand Chute. See a video inside the new restaurant at postcrescent.com/thebuzz.
Its three owners, Sam Servin, Bruce Gerondale and Carlos Victoria, wanted to create an original, one-of-a-kind restaurant rather than a franchise or a branch of something else.
What could be more original and personal than a brand made up of their own names?
Together they already operate a successful franchise, The Tilted Kilt in Oshkosh, but wanted to break out of the confines of licenses or franchises to have the freedom to create their own signature and style of service.
“We have so much more to offer than what a national chain has to offer,” said Gerondale. “In a franchise, we couldn’t put our own twists on things.”
The restaurant’s logo shows the name as “SamBruLos” and has a tagline “authentic Mexican, American and Italian cuisine.”
While it may seem ambitious to tackle three kinds of cooking in one kitchen, they feel prepared to take it on with a kitchen crew of 15 that includes mostly family members.
“I was intrigued watching Carlos cook Mexican food. Sam’s got the Italian. The Tilted Kilt serves so many bacon cheeseburgers,” said Gerondale.
“We thought ‘Let’s gets a restaurant that has the best American items and the top Italian and Mexican items.’ We’ll have an excellent variety in one place,” he said. “They’re our versions of proven, top performers. We are confident in our great tasting food and the experience going into this,” he said.
“We’ve been cooking since we were 14,” said partner Carlos Victoria, speaking about himself and Sam Servin. Both are related to Chris Victoria, the owner of Victoria’s Italian Cuisine in downtown Appleton. Servin is his brother-in-law and Carlos is his cousin.
Besides the Tilted Kilt, Sambrulos’ partners run additional businesses. Servin is a partner in Victoria’s Ristorante & Wine Bar in Rochester, Minn. Gerondale has non-food ventures, Gerondale’s Outlet Center in Green Bay and La-Z-Boy in Grand Chute.
The $3 million O’Charley’s building, vacant a year, had an asking price of $890,000. The partners put in a successful lower bid and will open the restaurant for about $1 million including the purchase, signage, reserve liquor license and start-up expenses.
With banks jittery about funding almost any restaurant, let alone a newcomer, they financed the venture through an investment group of doctors.
On the menu: burgers are mostly $8.95, Mexican entrees average $9.95 and pastas and pizzas are around $12.95.
Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day and to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, see its Facebook page or call 920-997-9690.
— Maureen Wallenfang: 920-993-1000, ext. 287, or firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @wallenfang