Sambo’s restaurant rechristened as “Chad’s”

Sambo’s restaurant at 216 West Cabrillo Boulevard, which recently celebrated its 63rd birthday, has a new name: “Chad’s.” A new rooftop sign for the business, using the iconic Sambo’s bubble motif, was created and installed by Imagine Graphics on July 14th.

“As we move through life there are always changes that need to happen and maybe this is one of those changes,” said owner Chad Stevens. “The restaurant is still in the family. It’s a family business. We’re still a local restaurant providing family dining.” Stevens operated a Chad’s Cafe on Chapala Street from 1992-2008 so the new name will be familiar to many locals.

I asked Stevens if any other changes will occur, in addition to the new name, and he suggested a few upgrades are planned. “The name is changing but the restaurant will still be the same – with some new items that you wouldn’t expect to see at Sambo’s,” said Stevens. “We’ll bring some fish in, and some other items that aren’t Sambo’s specific. It’s a step up but we’ll still be that family restaurant that you always knew and enjoyed.”

They are working on a new menu right now, recently purchased all new tables and chairs, and expanded the patio. “We’re changing with the times,” added Stevens. “I am saddened by the loss of our business, of what my grandfather started, but it is still the same family. And I want to make that true.” A new website is currently under construction and will be launched at in about a month.

Owner Chad Stevens with son Cole, age 17, next to their new rooftop sign that was installed July 14th. Photo by Primetime.

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6 Responses to Sambo’s restaurant rechristened as “Chad’s”

  1. Fay says:

    No brainer! Love Chad, loved Chad’s, hope to love the new Chad’s.

  2. Laurie says:

    Yay! Such great memories at the former Chad’s.

  3. karl says:

    I saw this in the Indy’s fictitious business statement section a couple weeks ago. Great news! Hopefully they bring back the brie chicken pasta and Chad in the banana suit singing, “Day-O” leading the conga line.

  4. Dawn says:

    Such a shame to loose the beloved name of Sambos – (who is Indian) in this ridiculous age of gentrification in the name of equality and respect. And what good sports Chad and family have been, first with Peace & Love, and now with “Chads”. Rock on Chad! Still miss your muffins…

  5. Hefe says:

    There is a long history of names that inadvertently were offensive. For example Chevy Nova when translated to Spanish literally means “won’t go” or doesn’t work. The Hyundai Kona in Portuguese was too similar to “cona” a vulgar reference to female genitalia.
    Sambo a combination of the two founders names certainly an unintentional use, IS a derogatory term that as I recall was a significant factor in the downfall of the chain.
    If only from a business standpoint why would you want a name that offends a significant portion of your customer base?
    Renaming and removing offensive names and things does not erase history the history remains in books and online for anyone to research. The name change itself is now a great moment in history to be passed along.

  6. Gary Sudder says:

    Why the PC censorship of a name that some find offensive. What’s next? Santa Barbara Restaurant “guy” is not gal, womyn, transexual, or other PC us empire term?