Salam Ballout, who started Sam’s Espresso in 1988 and gave it to his brother Sam to run, told me today that when Fred Meyer reopens in the late fall, it will be with a Starbucks, not Sam’s. So Sam and Salam are looking for a new spot in Greenwood where they can serve up their low-priced espresso and famous hot dogs.
Salam also owned a Sam’s Espresso inside the Fred Meyer at Aurora Avenue North and North 185th Street from 1993-2000, before it was replaced by a Starbucks. Another Sam’s Espresso is currently located inside the Lake City Way Fred Meyer.
Salam said the brothers will miss their regular clientele, so they hope to find a new location quickly. They’re working with real estate agents to find something, but so far they haven’t found a spot with parking or reasonable rent.
Sam’s is well-known for its $2 mocha and the scent of hot dogs as you walk through Fred Meyer’s front door. Salam said the business has some customers who’ve been with them since the beginning, including a woman whose mother was a customer when she was pregnant with her, and who now brings her own 3-year-old to the cart for hot dogs and treats.
Salam Ballout and his brother Sam serve up low-priced coffee, hot dogs, cookies, bagels, granitas and other treats just inside Fred Meyer’s front door.
“We have people come from Redmond, Kirkland, Snoqualmie,” Salam said. “They used to live here and they come back once a month just to have our hot dogs.”