Serve It Again, Sam … Sambonn Lek Is Back!


HamiltonDC Historic Landmark, The Hamilton Crowne Plaza, welcomes another DC institution back to townSambonn Lek, renowned as DC’s original “celebrity” bartender, returns to Washington after a trip to his native Cambodia. “Sam” as his regulars know him, will now be serving up his signature “Sam I Am” martinis and magic tricks at the popular 14K Restaurant & Lounge within the historic Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel at 14th and K Streets NW.

Sam has spent the past nine months in Cambodia, overseeing Sam Relief, Inc., an organization he founded in 1999 that has helped to build 27 schools and 345 wells, delivered 100 tons of rice to a local hospital and funded local university scholarships.

“The District will always have a special place in my heart,” says Sam. “I have truly missed the people of Washington, DC and look forward to seeing new and familiar faces from behind the bar at 14K Restaurant & Lounge.”

Sam found a home at The Mayflower Renaissance Hotel’s Town and Country Lounge in 1976, two years after moving to the U.S. He was promoted to head bartender in 1980 and won numerous awards throughout his career, including Employee of the Year by DC Hotel Association along with a Best Bartender title from Washingtonian magazine.

Sam’s return to DC at the 14K Restaurant & Lounge coincides with the recent arrival of Executive Chef Juan Natal and his updated menu for the contemporary American bistro. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Miami, FL, Natal has an extensive culinary career within the hotel and hospitality industry. Most recently, he operated six different dining venues as executive chef of Hawks Cay Resort and Villas in Duck Key, FL.

“We are thrilled to have both Sam and Chef Natal join our staff,” said Sholeh K. Kia, the Hamilton’s general manager. “The benefits for our guests now include gastronomic delights from a world-class chef and exceptional service from one of DC’s most beloved bartenders.”

About The Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel and 14K Restaurant
Located at 14th and K Streets in the heart of downtown Washington D.C., the historic 318-room Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel is the ideal destination for meeting attendees, business and leisure travelers. The Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel is operated by Interstate Hotels & Resorts ( For more information about the hotel, please visit 14K Restaurant offers Regional American Contemporary Cuisine surrounded by a comfortably elegant and casual atmosphere. 14K Restaurant’s patio, overlooks Franklin Square Park, at one of Washington’s most powerful intersections. For more information, please visit

source: Linda Roth PR


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