Sam Miller’s

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Description

One of Richmond's Most Historic Restaurants.

Like the Shockoe neighborhoods for which it has served as an anchor for over fifty years, Sam Miller’s has a rich, intricate history given weight by countless individual stories of the people who have contributed to its legacy.

The word Shockoe has deep roots In Richmond. It’s a reference to the long paved-over Shockoe Creek, and is derived from Shacahocan—a Powhatan/Algonquin phrase for the “flat rock” at its mouth on the James River, which served as a natural “slip” for boats loading and unloading cargo. This bustling trading post eventually became the commercial center of Richmond.

But this commerce took on brutal dimensions in nearby Shockoe Bottom, which was the center of Richmond’s slave trade. One of Richmond’s oldest neighborhoods, the Bottom is where George Washington envisioned a national system of transportation canals and Thomas Jefferson signed the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. It’s also where Abraham Lincoln arrived by canoe to see the fall of the Confederacy.

In April 1865, the Slip suffered major damage in the Richmond fire which signaled the end of the Civil War. The area was rebuilt in the late 1860s with most of the buildings surviving into the present day.

Sam Miller was a Polish immigrant who came to the United States in 1870 and opened the eponymous Sam Miller’s Exchange Café in 1901 at 1301 East Cary Street in the Colombian Block Building in Shockoe Slip. This restaurant was closed in 1909 as Sam moved to Broad Street to pursue other business ventures.

The Slip went into decline in the 1920s until, in the summer of 1972, a new revival was ushered in by Tom Leppert and the re-opening of Sam Miller’s. This was an age before the vintage streetlamps, shaded brick sidewalks, and cobblestone streets of the current cityscape. Leppert’s vision and hard work helped transform the historic warehouse district of the Slip into one of Richmond’s most durable hospitality hubs. 

For nearly 50 years (until his death in 2021) Tom took care of guests and an extended family of friends and staff with generosity and humor. His commitment to the local restaurant community lives on in the winning smiles and dependable service of owner/operator Ken Wall and his amazing team.

Shockoe Bottom and the Slip are once again vibrant, growing neighborhoods that have seen a resurgence of small businesses, restaurants, new residents and investment in telling the complicated story of Shockoe. And, as Ken would say to Tom during the challenging days of the pandemic and all that followed, when asked how things were going at Sam Miller’s: the anchor appears to be holding.  

Features

Feature List
  • Private Dining
  • Meeting Rooms for businesses and family gatherings
  • Oyster Bar

Location

Address
Sam Miller's, 1210, East Cary Street, Central Office District, Richmond, Virginia, Richmond, Virginia, 23219, United States

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Contact Details

Business Hour
Open Now

  • Monday
    11:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Tuesday
    11:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Wednesday
    11:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Thursday
    11:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Friday
    11:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Saturday
    11:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Sunday Closed

Contact Info

Clay Hamner

Posted 4 weeks ago
  • chamner@shoprva.com
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