‘Coaches’ Wants to Be Where Players Meet

POLAND, Ohio – With the opening of Coaches Burger Bar at Five Points, Patrick Howlett and Stacy Sam have tried to bring the taste and feel of a big city burger restaurant to the Mahoning Valley

The co-owners, Howlett and Sam, cut the ribbon to officially open their 3,000-square-foot restaurant on Springfield Road Monday morning.

“I’m a big fan of all the burger bars that have been popping up in the big cities and what they’re doing,” Howlett said. “I wanted to bring that back to the Valley and make it special for everybody.”

He wanted to make it even more special for the children who participate in scholastic athletics. “I love what coaches do,” he said. “I’m a big fan of what they bring to our children.”

He elaborated, “We have three kids and I am amazed by the time their coaches spend with them just to teach them about sports. It’s like a second job for most of them.”

Although Howlett and Sam named the restaurant to recognize coaches, their children like the name for other reasons.

“I love the name,” said Lorin Sam, 7. “I love it because it has ‘burger’ in it and I love burgers!”

Added his older brother, Ryan, 11, “I remember we were making burgers at home in the kitchen one day and we were talking about opening up a restaurant. And here we are now.”

Howlett was 20 when started in the restaurant business and has stayed in it the last 20 years, learning the many aspects of running one.

The storefront, formerly Vincent’s Wine Bar, had been vacant a year before Coaches opened June 28.

“I live right down the road and drive past here all the time,” Howlett said. “It seemed like the perfect place for a restaurant.”

Stacy Sam also thought it was the perfect place.

“The location is great and the community has welcomed us completely,” Sam said. “Everybody has been so supportive.”

Sam wanted to ensure that the restaurant have an atmosphere that welcomes families.

“We have kids so we wanted it to be a place that they can come and hang out with their friends,” said Sam. “We are going to put their jerseys on the walls, so the kids are excited about that.”

The food has also excited their children.

“I like the big Texan [cheese, bacon, barbeque sauce, onions]” Patrick Howlett Jr., 12, said. “It’s so cool that my dad owns it because my friends will say, ‘Hey, I was just there.’ And I can be like, ‘Yeah, we own it.’ ”

Lorin Sam is partial to the chicken wings. “I like how messy they get,” she says.

Ryan Sam like the many ways he can build his own hamburger: “I get tomatoes, provolone, mushrooms, and ketchup.”

Since opening, Coaches has seen the flow of customers build steadily.

“Since our soft opening, we have had such an overwhelming response from the community,” the elder Sam relates, “and we hope we came up with something that is going to be a long-term establishment for our community.”

Pictured: Restaurant owners Patrick Howlett and Stacy Sam.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.