Sam's Shutters

Insta-worthy fried chicken and doughnuts restaurant flies away from The Heights

Insta-worthy Heights fried chicken and doughnuts restaurant shutters

Sam's fried chicken & donuts exterior new sign
Sam's has closed. Courtesy photo

The Heights has lost a reliable destination for two classic comfort foods. Sam's Fried Chicken and Donuts closed on Monday, March 9, owner Sambrooks Management Company announced.

The company will not replace Sam's with another concept. Owner Michael Sambrooks issued the following statement about the closing through a representative:

Sam’s Fried Chicken and Donuts was a fun concept with tasty and Instagram worthy fare. With our recent closing of Pi Pizza, and now the closing of Sam’s, we are fully focused on our 'Big Four' concepts – The Pit Room BBQ, The Patio at The Pit Room, 1751 Sea and Bar, and Candente. Several of our Sam’s employees are moving to our other concepts and we wish the best to those talented folks that are going off to other opportunities.

Originally Lee's Fried Chicken & Donuts, the restaurant quickly became known for well-executed versions of its namesake menu items — in particular, the apple fritter and blueberry cake flavors — as well as over-the-top chicken sandwiches. One memorable combination swapped traditional buns for doughnuts and a dessert take offered a couple of scoops of ice cream in between two doughnuts.  

In September 2018, Sambrooks purchased the restaurant, along with Pi Pizza and Star Fish, from Cherry Pie Hospitality. By December, it had a new name and an expanded menu that added Southern specialities such as chicken and waffle wings, collard greens, and pork cracklins.  

As Michael Sambrooks noted in his statement, the company has moved on from two of the restaurants it acquired in the transaction. The company ceased operations at Pi Pizza in February. 

Despite the closings, the company had a busy 2019 that included opening two new restaurants: 1751 Sea & Bar, an upscale seafood restaurant that replaced Star Fish, and Candente, a Tex-Mex restaurant that incorporates some barbecue elements from its sister concept, Texas Monthly top 50 barbecue joint The Pit Room.