Sam’s Diner in Maumee celebrates 20-year anniversary

Nick Elkhechen and Sam’s Diner have been in business since 1994, making 2015 their 21st year in Maumee.

Nick Elkhechen and Sam’s Diner have been in business since 1994, making 2015 their 21st year in Maumee.

By Chris Galford-

Since October 1994, Sam’s Diner in Maumee has served up a savory collection of Greek, American, Lebanese and Italian cuisine, and despite the competitive Toledo market, it’s still going strong. According to owner Nick Elkhechen, from carryout to dining in, the diner’s biggest appeals tend to drift between its breakfasts, its burgers, gyros and Greek salad.

They key to their food’s appeal lies in the fresh-prepped ingredients, with new supplies coming in every three to four days. Of course, the specials don’t hurt — with a breakfast special of $3.99 including three eggs, fries, meat and toast, as well as an any time special of any burger, sandwich or wrap with one side and drink for $7.99.

However, there are concerns keeping both the diner, and Nick, on their toes. Nick points to the local casino’s opening two years ago as one of those watershed moments, as it has, in many cases, competed for the same customers. The other looming specter is that of a potential minimum wage hike.

“Small business can’t have too much for pay; we can’t go big. We’re not like big companies like Applebee’s or so. You go there, you pay a lot of money for your plate. It’s not like here,” Nick said.

The diner’s hours of operation are Monday through Saturday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.