Christie, citing Morristown Green story, raps Mendham restaurant

Gov. Chris Christie fields questions after groundbreaking for 'Gov. Chris Christie Drive,' Nov. 20, 2017. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Gov. Chris Christie fields questions after groundbreaking for 'Gov. Chris Christie Drive,' Nov. 20, 2017. Photo by Kevin Coughlin


Former Gov. Chris Christie’s battles with public employees–teachers, in particular–are well documented. But he went to bat for restaurant workers in his hometown of Mendham this weekend.

Citing a story about a $190,000 settlement between Sammy’s Steakhouse and servers who alleged the place skimmed their tips and withheld back pay, Christie tweeted on Saturday:

“Terrible example of mistreatment of workers by ownership. People should consider this when deciding where to spend your dollars for a dinner out.”

chris christie tweet about Sammy's

A call to the restaurant on Sunday for a response from management reached a cook, who said he was too busy to comment or take a message.

“Although our clients deny any wrongdoing, the matter… was amicably resolved amongst the parties. We are unable to provide further comment,”  Margaret O’Rourke Wood, lawyer for owners  Samuel, Maryann and Philip Fornaro, stated in our initial article.

The Fornaros, grandchildren of founder Samuel Fornaro, agreed to pay $190,000 to 26 plaintiffs for three years of back wages, damages and legal fees. United States Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson approved the settlement of the class-action lawsuit in March.

Also known as Sammy’s Ye Olde Cider Mill, the restaurant evolved from a 1920s speakeasy to a steakhouse in 1933 under Sam Fornaro, an Italian immigrant.

Christie’s tweet of our story also got picked up by

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  1. Sammy’s must have refused to cover his horrendous tab, leaving him the uncharacteristic title of defender of the every man.

  2. I agree Rocco but when an employer withholds back pay and skims your tips which is a large portion of the earnings a waiter/waitress makes that’s just wrong.

  3. Why does anyone give a ras A$$ what Crusty says about ANYTHING… why is he even in NJ anymore? GO AWAY.