Sammy Citrano (BBA '78)

Sammy Citrano (BBA '78)

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Sammy Citrano graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1978. While a student at SHSU, he met Charles Petronella, Damian Mandola and Nash D’Amico and went to work for a restaurant in Huntsville, called Damian’s. “their families were from Sicily, as were mine,” said Citrano.“ I had the best time working there. I especially remember when the Houston Oilers were holding training camp, and Bum Philips and Earl Campbell came in. They really enjoyed the restaurant and the cold beer.”

Citrano went to work at Steak‘N Spirits Restaurant in 1977 in Huntsville as a waiter, busser, bartender and cook. He went into management with the company after he graduated. “We grew to five locations,” he said. “David Tinsley was the owner but selected me as president of the dinner house group in 1982, an opportunity that not many 25-year-olds get.” “Sammy is the best hospitality man and networker in the community that I’ve ever seen, “Tinsley said.“He knows how to run a business and is a superb restaurateur.”

Citrano married Delonda Newhouse in 1982. They have a son, Kyle, a Texas Christian University graduate. They moved to Waco in January 1986 where Citrano was the managing partner of the Elite Café and health Camp Restaurant. In 1994 he purchased an old landmark restaurant and bar called George’s, which had been around since the 1930s. “I kept the name, updated it and it continues to grow and is Waco’s local favorite, famous for chicken fried steak and Big o beer,” he said.“ A song by my friend Pat Green, called‘George’sBar,’ helped make it famous. “We have catered to many, including President George W. Bush and the White House staff and press corps for the eight year she was president and vacationed in Crawford. My wife and I enjoyed two great trips to the White House, hosted by the Bush family, thanking us for our service. It is something I will never forget.” Citrano enjoys working with the local Chamber of Commerce, Texas Sports Hall of Fame, and First National Bank of Central Texas. His hobbies include working with young people in their business and enjoying his family’s condo in Destin,Fla.,“to recharge my batteries.”