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    Early this morning flames devastated a locally owned and popular restaurant in New Albany. Sam’s Food and Spirits on Payne Kohler Road off Charlestown Road suffered substantial damage as a fire broke out around midnight. Crews worked through the morning before the fire was out; in which they believe started in the back of the building. Thankfully no one was injured, but the loss of the restaurant is more than the loss of a staple building in Southern Indiana.

    Sam’s Tavern has been a popular family owned and operated business in New Albany since 1985 and owner Sam Anderson has put a tremendous amount of time, effort, and hard work into the restaurant.

    Sam’s, known for their delectable chicken tenders, is a favorite of many locals and travelers, including previous President George W. Bush, who visited the restaurant in 2007. It is host to many social gatherings, holiday parties, office meetings, and graduation events. I personally held my graduation lunch in one of their three private dining rooms and was greeted by smiling employees and waited on with such warmth that I could not have had chose a better venue.

    When asking Sam’s daughter, Hadley Anderson, about what she would like to say to the community she said, “Just to thank everyone for their support and condolences. [We] will come together to rebuild as the family we were before the fire.” [We] couldn't let people go on without their chicken tenders right?"

    Sam’s Food & Spirits plans to rebuild. “We hope to come back; stronger than before", Anderson told WHAS 11 news.

    Photos courtesy Sam’s Food & Spirits Facebook page

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