Sam Sanchez
Corporate Secretary of the Illinois Restaurant Association

In the mid-eighties, Sam Sanchez moved from his hometown in Sabinas Hidalgo Mexico to start what is now an accomplished hospitality career in Chicago. He cut his teeth in restaurants at what would become his first location, John Barleycorn in Lincoln Park. Sanchez was given an opportunity by his uncle Frank Mendoza and he ran with it. Throughout the years Sanchez has continued to open restaurants throughout Chicago and he has even expanded into California. With an extensive background that goes from concept development to daily operations, his extensive knowledge of all things restaurant continues to drive success in his current businesses. In 2015 Sanchez was rewarded for all his hard work and was awarded Restaurateur of the Year from the Illinois Restaurant Association.

Sanchez is a principal partner who oversees all facets of restaurant management, including operations and business development for Moe’s Cantina, Old Crow Smokehouse, and Tree House with new concepts on the horizon.

In addition to his restaurants, Sanchez owns EMC Construction, a full-service construction company that handles renovations of existing properties and new construction. In June of 2020 Sanchez started SDS Blocker Manufacturing, a company that makes high-quality disposable face masks.

Sanchez is actively involved with the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy, Excellence in Education, Chicago Hospitality Association, River North Business Association, Central Lakeview Merchants Association, Lakevie Special Service Area #17 , Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce, and the Illinois Restaurant Association. His volunteer work throughout the city has been extensive. From feeding seniors every year for Thanksgiving to annually charity picnics, Sanchez has never turned down an opportunity to give back to the community. Perhaps his most fulfilling volunteer work has been his greatest pleasure and that would be through his mentorship. Throughout the years Sanchez has spoken to thousands of kids and has been an inspiration particularly among the Lantin X community.

In 2015, Sanchez received the title of Corporate Secretary of the Illinois Restaurant Association. He most recently served as first Vice Chair and will be the newly elected Chairman of the Illinois Restaurant Association on February 25, 2021.

In 2014, Sanchez was recognized and honored by the House of Representatives of the Ninety-Eighth General Assembly of the State of Illinois for his accomplishments within the business community, and his devotion to the betterment of the neighborhoods in which he lives and works.

Sanchez has been married to his wife, Marga, for 33 years, and has three daughters: Samantha, Korina, and Camila. In his spare time, he enjoys entertaining at home, cooking for his family and friends, and horseback riding.