Sammy’s Pizza eyes summer reopening in La Jolla

Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza and Grill at 702 Pearl St. will (hopefully) re-open this summer, after a remodel necessitated by a fire in September 2015.
(Ashley Mackin)

After numerous inquiries about the status of Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza and Grill in La Jolla — which has been closed since a two-alarm fire broke out there in September — owner Sami Ladeki told La Jolla Light the restaurant will open, hopefully this summer.

“People think because Roppongi Sushi closed, that Sammy’s is going to close, but that is not the case. It will reopen,” he said.

The 702 Pearl St. restaurant, opened in 1989, was the first of now 17 chain locations. It suffered smoke and water damage following a fire over Labor Day weekend in 2015. Officials determined the fire cause to be accidental, starting in the restaurant kitchen hood. Damage is estimated at $150,000 to the building and $50,000 to the contents. One firefighter sustained a minor injury.

Citing problems with the various insurance agencies involved, the city and the adjoining apartment complex, Ladeki said he wanted to have the restaurant open by May, but doubts that will happen. “All the different agencies are working together, but it’s still going to be difficult. I need to open that place. It’s one of the best locations we have,” he said. “We’ve been working hard to get it back open soon.”

In the meantime, Ladecki said he has been redesigning the interior and exterior of the restaurant, and adding new items to the menu. “We’ve been working on the inside to repair the water damage, and will renovate the outside patio. I’m taking out the awning and adding umbrellas and generally cleaning up the outside eating area.”

As with many of the other Sammy’s Pizza locations, Ladeki said the menu would also be updated when the restaurant opens. “We have a beautiful new burger, and will have more small plates and tacos, as well as more Peruvian-inspired food,” he said.

In honor of the initial opening on June 15, 1989, Ladeki said he hopes to have the reopening June 15, but there is one more required approval needed before he can be sure.