Sammy’s Grill on Highland to keep name; new owner to give former employees back pay

New owner says Sammy's Grill to keep name; back pay will be issued to former employees

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Wayne Stabiler, the new owner of the former Sammy’s Grill location on Highland Road, has announced he will retain the name of the business when he reopens it in March.

He has confirmed to WAFB’s Scottie Hunter he also plans to issue back pay for those former employees who worked at any location of the franchise before it closed down. He says the amount comes to around $150,000.

“That’s definitely what we’re going to do,” said Stabiler. “I’m going to pay everything for people who used to work there to make sure that they’re all paid. I’m paying for every location.”

When asked if he had plans to keep those previously employed workers on, Stabiler said that was not his intention when he made the decision to pay those employees; however, he’s open to having some of them work for him in the future if they so desire.

“There might be an opportunity to retain some former employees, but this is mostly just to repair the damage that had been done in the past and this is primarily just an effort to give us a fresh start and keep the name good. This is just the right thing to do,” said Stabiler.

Stabiler says he plans to have all of those employees paid by the week of Mardi Gras. As for the restaurant, he says everything is set on their end, but they’re just waiting on paperwork to be completed through the city-parish.

“We don’t have a firm date for when we’ll open, but we’re currently going through the permitting process and I anticipate it will be within the next 30 days,” he added.

Stabiler did want to mention he has spoken with the former owner, Sammy Nagem. While Nagem will not be involved with the future of the business, Stabiler says Nagem was very welcoming when he offered to take care of the employees who were formerly employed by the previous owner.

“He’s really glad that this is happening and he’s glad that I was able to step in and take care of those employees, so this is a win-win for everyone,” said Stabiler.

The restaurant closed down back in January after a series of financial issues that were documented in a number of investigative reports by WAFB.

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