By Jill Keppeler
A Wheatfield landmark will mark 20 years of good food and good customers this autumn.
Sandi's Family Restaurant at the corner of River and Williams roads in Wheatfield will celebrate its 20th anniversary Oct. 7. Sandi and Dan Clark of Wheatfield, pictured, opened the restaurant back in 1995 and, ever since, customers have gathered there to dine on their specialties, greet the owners, meet friends and talk over the events of the day.
"I've always worked in restaurants," said Sandi Clark, who has a restaurant management degree from Buffalo State College. "We found (this spot) in the paper the last weekend of our honeymoon."
Dan Clark keeps guest books from the restaurant's opening and 10th anniversary available for customers to peruse.
"When you page through, you see so many different names," he said, turning the pages. "People who've moved away, passed away. I have it here for people to see. Maybe their grandma's in there."
Signs of the restaurant's faithful clientele are visible throughout the site. Newspaper clippings (including those about the Clarks' daughter, Lindsey, a 2015 Niagara-Wheatfield graduate who was named Peach Queen at this year's Peach Festival in Lewiston) about the restaurant and its customers are posted. There are many photos, some of longtime customers and children who've grown up eating there with their families.
A wall decorated with "Wizard of Oz" memorabilia harkens back to the theme park that was once a possibility for Wheatfield; hand-lettered signs showcase the day's desserts (including "peanut butter dream pie") and "Sandi's Summer Salads."
There will be unique specials as part of a week-long celebration from Oct. 4 to 10. Dan Clark showed off a list designed to be read aloud, such as "A sundae on a Monday," "Pie to fly ... $1 off" and "Family Tree ... kids eat free."
Among the restaurant's specialties are the fresh-cut french fries, homemade soups and chili, desserts and, in particular, the chicken pita, Dan Clark said.
"We use a nice pita, good chicken, homemade dressing and marinade, quality feta," he said. "It's always been one of our No. 1 sellers. People are also very fond of our reuben."
Breakfasts, such as the one-pan breakfast and tavern ham and eggs, are also popular, Dan Clark said.
"People come out for Sandi's breakfasts, just like they always have," he said.
The restaurant's website can be found at www.sandis.biz.