The diner and bar announced the closure on Facebook, saying, “It is time for us to concentrate on owning our own space.”
Sam’s No. 3 has a long history. It first opened in Denver in 1927 when Sam Andrew Armatas, an immigrant from Greece, made his way to Denver, according to the website. He had previously worked on railroads, in the military, at a steel mill, and at a Greek diner.
Armatas was arrested by the FBI in 1936 because of his illegal immigration status. Luckily, his judge was a customer at the diner and dropped the charges allowing him to stay.
He continued opening more diners, named Sam’s No. 1 through Sam’s No. 5, but Sam’s No. 3 was the location that stayed in business.
Armatas’ son Spero bought Sam’s No. 3 in 1966 and ran the business with his sons. In 1998, Spero Armatas and his sons, Sam, Patrick and Alex, formed the modern-day Sam’s No. 3 partnership and opened the location in Aurora.
The Armatas family still operates the diner today. It has since been featured in shows like Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” and Travel Channel’s “Best Places to Pig Out.” It has also repeatedly been named one of the best eateries in Colorado, among several other awards.
Coloradans have proved their love for the diner over the years. In 1968, Sam’s No. 3 on 15th Street sat a total of five people. Today, according to the website, the diner serves some 2,800 people on weekdays, and 3,900 on weekends.
Today, Sam’s No. 3 has locations in Denver, Aurora and Glendale. The diners in Glendale and Denver will stay open.
Spero, Sam, Alex and Patrick Armatas signed the Facebook announcement, thanking their employees and the people who have supported the business.