Mean Street Pizza, which was owned by Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter Chael Sonnen, has recently changed ownership. West Linn resident Terrence Samuel, father of Tyrelle Samuel, agreed to purchase the restaurant in December and has renamed the business Island Sam’s Pizza.
“My kids came up with the name because we are from Trinidad, and our last name is Samuel,” Terrence Samuel, owner, said. “I also wanted to change the name because Mean Street did not sound like a place you wanted to go and eat.”
Terrence agreed to buy the restaurant because it was not family-friendly, according to him, especially with UFC fights that were displayed daily in the restaurant. He also believed that the food being served was not made with quality ingredients.
“The first thing I wanted to get away from was all the fighting,” Samuel, said. “This was not community-friendly and I thought it was pushing families away. In the community we demand a certain quality, and this quality was not being met in Mean Street,” Terrence said. “The place also needed a fresh start.”
Jacquelyn Cresap, manager of Island Sam’s is especially sure that the restaurant introduces a “Fresh start.”
“We hope that people remember Island Sam’s as a safe, family-friendly restaurant,” Cresap said.
In the past, Mean Street has generally catered to teens, which repeled some families (according to Cresap). To make the area more community-friendly, the casual counter order is being replaced with the idea of a sit-down, more formalized restaurant.
“My goal is to make Island’s Sam’s more community-friendly,” Samuel said, “That is the reason I bought this place, and I can tell we are getting closer to this goal everyday.”
Samuel has decided to put a trophy case in the restaurant. The trophy case will display the community as a whole and allow people to see the achievements of the youth, according to Samuel.
“I haven’t owned Island Sam’s for very long, but my favorite experience is when a young boy came in and handed me a thank you note,” Samuel, said. “It warmed my heart that this kid was thinking about me and decided to thank me for making it more friendly for him.”
Samuel owns two other businesses, which include a construction company and a company that distributes and sells high-end wine.