Behind The Booth: Sammy Davis Jr. & Booth 20

Behind The Booth: Sammy Davis Jr. & Booth 20

Sammy Davis Jr. (1925 - 1990) was an iconic entertainer, renowned for his versatility as a singer, dancer, actor, and comedian. Born into a vaudevillian family in Harlem, New York, he began performing at a young age, gaining fame with the Will Mastin Trio. Davis' career spanned over six decades, during which he broke racial barriers in show business.

Despite facing racial and religious discrimination, he achieved widespread success in music, film, and television. Known for hits like "The Candy Man" and roles in films such as "Ocean's 11," Davis Jr. also rose to fame as a member of the "Rat Pack," a group of entertainers that included Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and others. Davis remains an influential figure, celebrated for his talent, charisma, and contributions to the entertainment industry and civil rights activism.

When Davis Jr. began his Las Vegas residency, he was not welcome to stay or dine at many of the establishments on the Strip after his performances due to the country's racial segregation practices. Instead, he had to stay downtown at the Moulin Rouge hotel. Fortunately, he met the Steer's original owner, Joe Kaludjian, who offered him the opportunity to dine at the steakhouse.

The Steer welcomed him with open arms and allowed him to sit wherever he wanted. He chose a corner that is now famously known as the "Rat Pack Corner" because the rest of the Rat Pack would come and dine with him after performances. After Davis Jr. and friends started frequenting the Steer, more celebrities followed suit. His preferred booth, Number 20, bears his namesake to this day.

His go-to steak at the Steer was a NY Strip, and we created The Sammy steak box as an homage to his patronage over the years.

Image Credits:
Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons