Sam’s No.3 name and foods have been a Denver staple since 1927 when Sam Armatas, an immigrant from Lefkada Greece, opened on Curtis Street in Downtown Denver. Spero (son of Sam), Alex, Patrick, and Sam (Grandson’s) re-established their first brick and mortar Sam’s No.3 in Aurora in 1998, in Downtown Denver—back on Curtis Street and across the Street from the original location, in 2003, and in Glendale in 2013. Sam’s No.3 has been featured in many more articles, podcasts, YouTube, Indie Films, student films, and more. Multiple national shout-outs from NBC Sunday Night Football, MSNBC Morning Joe, USA Today, Flea from The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jack Black from Tenacious D!

1850s

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  • 1858
    Paul Frenzeny and Jules Tavernier, Denver from the Highlands, 1874

    Nov 1858

    City of Denver is founded.

1890s

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  • 1895

    Oct 1895

    Sam Andrew Armatas is born in Katochori Lefkada, Greece.

  • 1895
    1895 - homas Edison lights first indoor Christmas tree

    Dec 1895

    Thomas Edison lights first indoor Christmas tree with lights bulbs at the White House for President Grover Cleveland.

1910s

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  • 1910

    Jan. 1910

    Immigrants begin flooding to United States.

  • 1910

    Feb. 1910

    Sam comes to U.S. Works on the railroad as a water boy. Paid $0.50 a day. Lives in a box-car for two years.

  • 1912

    March 1912

    Girl Scouts are founded.

  • 1912

    April 1912

    The Titanic sinks.

  • 1912

    Oct. 1912

    The Balkan War starts.

  • 1912

    Oct. 1912

    Sam goes back to Greece. Joins the army, stays in the military until 1918.

  • 1914

    July 1914

    WWI starts.

  • 1915

    Jan. 1915

    First transcontinental phone call is made.

  • 1915

    March 1915

    Georgia Fotinos, Sam’s future wife, is born in Omaha, Nebraska.

  • 1918

    Nov. 1918

    WWI ends.

1920s

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  • 1920

    Aug. 1920

    19th amendment granting women the right to vote is ratified.

  • 1924

    May 1924

    Immigration act of 1924 passes. It prevents immigration from Asia, sets quotas on the number of immigrants from the Eastern Hemisphere, and provides funding and an enforcement mechanism to carry out the longstanding ban on other immigrants.

  • 1924

    July 1924

    Sam wants to immigrate to U.S. He pays off a passing boat heading to the United States. He then jumps ship in New York Harbor. His friends meet him and take him to Joliet, Illinois where he finds work in a steel mill.

  • 1924

    Aug. 1924

    Sam takes the false name of Sam Andrews and starts working part time in a Greek Diner.

  • 1926

    Nov. 1926

    Route 66 opens from Chicago to Los Angeles.

  • 1927

    Jan. 1927

    Sam feels the pressure from immigration. He moves to Denver and goes into business with Sam Selavenitis.

  • 1927

    Aug. 1927

    The original Sam’s No. 3 opens at 1527 Curtis Street; previously Sam’s No. 1 was located 1757 Curtis St. and Sam’s No. 2 is located at 1642 Larimer.

  • 1927

    Oct. 1927

    Construction on Mount Rushmore begins.

  • 1929

    Oct. 1929

    Stock Market crashes, Great depression begins.

  • 1929

    Nov. 1929

    Sam’s No. 4 opens at 537 15th St.

1930s

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  • 1930

    Feb. 1930

    Sam’s Coney Island opens.

  • 1931

    May 1931

    Sam S. & Sam A. dissolve their business partnership, Sam Armatas keeps Sam’s No. 3.

  • 1935

    June 1935

    Sam meets Georgia Fotinos at a Greek diner in Bayard, Nebraska.

  • 1936

    March 1936

    Sam is arested by the F.B.I. because of his illegal immigration status. Judge Foster, a customer at Sam’s No. 3, drops charges against Sam and allows him to stay.

  • 1937

    1937

    Sam marries Georgia.

1940s

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  • 1940

    1940

    Spero Armatas is born.

1950s

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  • 1954

    1954

    Spero begins washing dishes.

  • 1956

    1956

    On Spero’s 16th birthday, Sam gives Spero a set of keys to open or close the diner.

  • 1958

    1958

    Spero graduates East High School. He goes to Ft. Leonard Wood Missouri to begin basic training for the National Guard.

  • 1959

    1959

    Spero enrolls at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

1960s

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  • 1963
    President Kennedy, assasinated Nov 1963

    Nov 1963

    President Kennedy Assassinated.

  • 1963

    1963

    Spero & Georgia married.

  • 1966

    1966

    Spero buys Sam's No 3. at 1500 Curtis. His mother Georgia starts working.

  • 1968

    1968

    Sam’s No. 3 is moved to 425 15th St. It seats 5 people.

  • 1968

    1968

    Spero rejoins his old company White Spot. Sam Sr. builds new building at 1500 Curtis.

  • 1969

    1969

    Spero’s 2nd son Evan is born.

  • 1969

    1969

    Spero sells 425 15th St. location to Pete Fotinos.

  • 1969
    Moon landing, 1969

    July 1969

    NASA lands on the Moon.

1970s

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  • 1970
    The Beatles breakup in 1970

    April 1970

    The Beatles breakup.

  • 1971

    1971

    Son No. 3 Alexander is born.

  • 1972
    Nixon in cChina, 1972

    1972

    President Nixon visits China.

  • 1973
    End of Vietnam War, 1973

    1973

    The US ends the war in Vietnam.

  • 1974

    1974

    4th Son Patrick is born.

  • 1976

    1976

    Chistianna is born.

  • 1976
    Original Apple logo

    1976

    Steve Wasniack and Steve Jobs found Apple Computers.

1980s

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  • 1980
    Titanic wreckage found in 1980

    1980

    The wreck of the titanic is found.

  • 1981

    1981

    Papous Sam passes away.

  • 1983
     John Elway is selected #1 overall by the Baltimore Colts

    1983

    John Elway is selected #1 overall by the Baltimore Colts.

  • 1984
    Apple introduces the Macintosh computer, 1084

    1984

    Apple introduces the Macintosh computer.

  • 1984
    Pat Bowlen buys the Broncos, 1984

    1984

    Pat Bowlen buys the Broncos.

  • 1985

    1985

    Alex begins working at Sam’s.

  • 1986
    Chernobyl nuclear power plant, 1986

    1986

    The Chernobyl nuclear power plant’s core explodes.

  • 1987

    1987

    Patrick starts washing dishes at Sam’s.

  • 1987
    population hits 5 billion, 1986

    1987

    The World’s population hits 5 billion people.

  • 1988
    Super Bowl XXII, 1988

    1988

    The Denver Broncos are blown out in the Super Bowl 42-10.

  • 1989
    Tiananmen Square, 1989

    1989

    In China, more than a million demonstrate in Tiananmen Square for more democracy.

1990s

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  • 1991
    The South African parliament overturns apartheid, 1991

    1991

    The South African parliament overturns apartheid.

  • 1991
    Mayor Wellington Webb, 1991

    1991

    Denver Elects Mayor Wellington Webb. The first black mayor in Denver history.

  • 1993
    The European Union is ratified, 1993

    1993

    The European Union is ratified.

  • 1995
    The Cleveland Browns fire Bill Belichick, 1995

    1995

    The Cleveland Browns fire Bill Belichick.

  • 1997
    J.K. Rowling publishes the first Harry Potter book, 1997

    1997

    J.K. Rowling publishes the first Harry Potter book.

  • 1998
    Super Bowl, 1998

    1998

    Despite Elway completing only 11 of 22 passes, throwing no touchdowns but one interception, the Broncos defeated the Packers 31–24, winning their first Super Bowl.

  • 1998

    1998

    Spero, Sam, Alex and Patrick form the Modern day Sam’s No. 3 partnership. They open Sam’s No. 3 on Havana.

  • 1998

    1998

    Westword publishes the first of 8 articles about Sam’s No. 3. The magazine would go on to mention Sam’s No. 3 98 more times over the next 20+ years.

  • 1998
    Google 1998

    1998

    Google introduces their Search Engine.

  • 1999
    Super Bowl XXXIII, 1999

    1999

    Elway, throwing for 336 yards and one touchdown with one interception while also scoring a rushing touchdown, leads Denver to a 34–19 win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII.

  • 1999

    1999

    Sam’s Mission Statement, created by Papou Sam, is made official Sam’s Moto: "Cleanliness - Quality - Service".

2000s

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  • 2000
    President Bush 2000

    2000

    The Supreme Court rules George W. Bush president over Al Gore.

  • 2003

    2003

    Renovation of Sam’s No. 3 on Curtis that expands into the entire building.

  • 2003
    Arnaold Schwarzenegger is elected Governor of California

    2003

    Arnaold Schwarzenegger is elected Governor of California.

  • 2005
    Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans and Southern US coast

    2005

    Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans and Southern US coast.

  • 2008
    Sam's No.3 logo

    2008

    Sam’s No. 3 receives copyright and trademark signation for Sam’s No. 3.

  • 2008
    Barack Obama is elected President of the United States

    2008

    Barack Obama is elected President of the United States.

  • 2009

    2009

    Rocky Mountain News— Sam's No. 3 is multiple winner of “Top of the Rocky.”

  • 2009

    2009

    Rocky Mountain News - Full length feature article on Sam’s No. 3 published

  • 2009
    Barack Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize

    2009

    Barack Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

2010s

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  • 2011
    Diners Drive-Ins and Dives

    April 2011

    Food Network’s Diners Drive-Ins and Dives features Sam’s No. 3’s best dishes. -- Episode - Porktastic.

  • 2012

    2012

    Spero, Sam, Alex, and Patrick buy Sam Taylor's BBQ at 435 S. Cherry St.

  • 2012

    2012

    Yia Yia Georgia Sr. passes away.

  • 2012

    Sept 2012

    The Aurora Sentinal posts a full length article on Sam’s No. 3 in Aurora.

  • 2012
    Broncos & Peyton Manning, 2012

    March 2012

    The Broncos reached an agreement on a five-year, $96 million contract with former longtime Indianapolis Colts' quarterback Peyton Manning.

  • 2013
    Super Bowl XLVIII

    2013

    The Broncos were soundly defeated by the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII by a score of 43–8.

  • 2013

    Oct 2013

    The Denver Post publishes a full length Feature Article on Sam’s No. 3's history.

  • 2013

    Oct 2013

    Denver Post profiles Sam’s Kickin Green Chili’s origins.

  • 2016

    June 2016

    Sam’s in named MSN’s PureWow “Most Iconic Restaurants in Every State” restaurant for Colorado .

  • 2016
    Trump wins 2016

    2016

    Donald Trump defeats Hillary Clinton to become President of the United States.

  • 2017

    2017

    Sam’s No. 3 partners with Bueno Foods to Mass Produce Kickin’ Green Chili.

  • 2017

    May 2017

    Upside’s “Top 5 REstuarants to Visit When in Denver”.

  • 2018

    July 2018

    “The Know” of the Denver Post names Sam’s No. 3.

  • 2018
    Jared Polis 2018

    2018

    Jared Polis is elected in Colorado. He is the first openly gay governor in America.

  • 2018
    Broncos hire Vic Fangio

    2018

    The Broncos hire Vic Fangio as Head Coach.

  • 2019
    Best Place to Pig Out

    Jan 2019

    Travel Channel’s Best Place to Pig Out features Sam’s Kickin Green Chili, burgers, and burritos.

  • 2019

    March 2019

    Thrillist “The Best Restaurants in Denver Right Now” winner.

  • 2019
    The Broncos Trade for Joe Flacco

    March 2019

    The Broncos Trade for Joe Flacco.

  • 2019

    2019

    2 Time Award Winner of “5280’s Top of the Town” award.

  • 2019

    2019

    16 time Westword's “Best of Denver” Award winner since 1998.

  • 2019
    Pat Bowlen passes away

    June 2019

    Pat Bowlen passes away.

  • 2019

    2019

    Multiple “Hot Stuff” award winner from the Aurora Centinal.