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 chadscafe.com 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.