Frank, Katharine, and their six children moved to Perry in the mid 1920's. The Petruses purchased land that was part of the John Bowen farm on Route 20 across from Antioch Road. Around 1927, they built a small building in which they opened a deli/grocery store/gas station. The store was called Frank Petrus and they advertised cigars, cigarettes, tobacco, and refreshments. Sadly, in 1930, Frank died of pneumonia, leaving Kate to raise their children on her own and take care of the business.
The storage area was added on and converted to a kitchen sometime in the 1930's. Kate's youngest son Albert Petrus recalls many meals being cooked by his mother; some were paid for and some given out the back door for less fortunate families during the depression. To this day, the back building still stands. The dance hall later became the Oasis Internet Cafe (no longer in operation). There was piano in the room for dancing, and they even held a few wedding receptions there. It was built before World War II (WWII), as mentioned in a letter from Kate’s son Louis Petrus who was serving in the war in Europe.
After a long and happy life, Kate Petrus died in 1975 and the family finally sold the business in 1979. The restaurant then became known as the Antioch Inn.
In the 1980's, Dave Robinson (formerly with the Green Bay Packers) visited often as a beer representative from Akron, Ohio. Many football stories were told and it was fun to put his Super Bowl ring on a pool stick and watch it slide down to the bottom. The man was a gentle giant.
In 1983, Olympic bobsled hopefuls pushed their way across Ohio from Toledo to Conneaut, trying to raise money for the team. One of their stops was the Antioch Inn, where a few beers were thrown down. We don't remember if they ever got to the Olympics, but they sure could drink beer!
One afternoon, Joanne waited on Dick Schafrath, a former Cleveland Browns linesman, former Ohio Senator, and an author. He was part of the team that won the 1957 National Football Championship with Ohio State University and part of the Cleveland Browns (1959 - 1971) when they won the 1964 NFL Championship. He gave Joanne an autographed picture, which she has given to her brother for his man-cave.
During the building of the power plant in the 1970's and 1980's, the business boomed. There was the "back gate" (now closed for security reasons), where workers had easier access to the restaurant. The crews worked in two shifts, which meant two lunch rushes. So, everyday at noon and 8 p.m. we would be ready for a twenty-minute rush. Instantly, the building would fill up. We had their drinks ready, took their orders, fed them, and gave them their checks. In a matter of twenty minutes they were gone and it looked like a tornado had gone through. The next day we did it again...
We held the Louie Run in 1990 with thousands of motorcycles arriving on a sunny Sunday morning. To add to the madness, the Perry Fire Department was doing a practice burn across the street from us. All the rubberneckers would look to the south and see over 3,000 bikers, then, they would look north and see a house on fire and emergency vehicles everywhere. Talk about crazy...
The restaurant was Antioch Inn until December 1994. Then it became Hager's Cruz Inn and then Tavern of Perry. It is now Sammy K's Steakhouse and Restaurant, and is owned by Gene Hager and Joanne Szafraniec.
For some time, we had live entertainment on the patio during the summer months. Many local bands such as Ez-Crossin, Hook & Phillips, Brickhouse Blues, and Burnt River have played for us throughout the years. On October 30, 2006, Brother Trouble (Mark and Jason Sutton) winners of the “Kenny Chesney's Next Big Star 2008," played for our annual Halloween Party.
Currently, we have two full service bars, dining room, lounge and restaurant, pool room, and an outdoor patio. Join us for a game of pool, corn-hole, or a relaxing cocktail with dinner. We also have Ohio lottery machines where you can play Keno as you dine.