Sam’s Chowder House offers to pay entire Moss Beach Park debt

The Shenkman family, owners of the popular Sam’s Chowder House restaurant on Cabrillo Highway next the to harbor have offered to pay the entire property tax due on the Moss Beach park, approximately $8,000.

The Shenkman’s have founded and owned many of the top Coastside restaurants–Pasta Moon, Cetrella, and Sam’s Chowder House. Their mobile Sam’s ChowderMobile roams the Bay Area.

In a dramatic week, Moss Beach Park was discovered to have been sold at auction to a Pacifica developer. The uproar in the community was immediate–and by week’s end the county had decided that there were grounds to void the auction. In making the announcement that the park had been saved County Supervisor Don Horsley wrote in an e-mail to the community:

During a meeting I held with the Tax Collector’s Office and County Counsel this morning, the Tax Collector’s Office agreed to cancel the sale provided that the outstanding property tax, amounting to $8,035.79, is paid in full by September 16.  With just over two weeks to collect these funds, it may be tight but I know that together we can do it.

A public meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, September 4 at 7:00 at the Farallone View Elementary School in Montara to discuss the details of securing the park’s future. Raising money for the taxes is now one issue the community will no longer have to grapple with.

Along with the announcement that they will pay the entire balance of the taxes due on the park, the Shenkman’s also shared a short statement outlining their motivations:

We regularly visited Moss Beach Park when our son Sam was younger (and occasionally still do!), so it holds a special place in our heart, and we know how important it is for the community. We were as surprised as many to find out that it had been silently sold. Our first thought was that we had to find out how to help, and when we learned that it could possibly be resolved by the back taxes being paid, we knew right away we wanted to contribute. We are always looking for ways to thank the community for their continued support of Sam’s, and this was just one more way to do it. We are so grateful to Montara Fog for first publishing the letter to tell everyone what was going on, to the community for rallying the way that they did, and for San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley and everyone else involved in helping to return the park to the community. What a wonderful place in which we live!

Paul, Julie, and Sammy Shenkman


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