Over the holidays, City Paper published a very short obituary I wrote for Samantha Mickey, the woman behind the stellar Sam’s Morning Glory Diner in Bella Vista. You should really check it out, particularly if you can go during the week (weekends are crazy busy).
Samantha “Sam” Mickey died this past May, at the age of 44, after a lengthy struggle with cancer. She is survived by three children and her diner, the justly famed Sam’s Morning Glory at 10th and Fitzwater streets. Mickey opened the joint in 1997, at age 30. It enjoyed the kind of success that sent lines snaking out the door on weekends. A diverse base of diners ranged from the stooped and gray to the slouched and gelled, about 50 percent of them loyal regulars. “She was a really crazy lady, and had to be to open her first business in the middle of a residential neighborhood,” says Jenny Greer, who has taken over the diner’s management. “There were no other restaurants in the area. This was the beginning of [Bella Vista] as a destination for food.” The diner continues to uphold its founder’s standards: The veggies are fresh, the sizable breakfast burritos easily mistaken for surface-to-air missiles, the baked goods made from scratch on the premises. When the menu said something was homemade, Mickey meant it.