Victory Park has been home to the Medina Oven & Bar since 2007. When selecting his restaurant’s location, Sam Benoikken carefully sought out his storefront, looking for a space in an area he loved and was backed by a strong community of people and businesses. Lucky for us, Sam found that in Victory Park and has been a neighborhood favorite ever since.
It had always been a dream for Sam Benoikken to open a Moroccan restaurant. At the age of 16, he moved to America to make his dream a reality. Sam spent years learning the hospitality industry and gained 20 years of food and beverage experience with high-end dining. Sam also received his Bachelor of Science in hotel and restaurant management.
When it came to Medina Oven & Bar, Sam always emphasized the importance of service, creativity, and impeccable quality for the casual-chic restaurant. He brought a sense of authenticity without losing focus on creating a sophisticated ambiance.
When not hard at work, Sam enjoyed spending time with his wife, Susan. He also had a deep passion for soccer. If Susan was too busy to watch a match, he could always count on their cat, Firk, to be his loyal companion. Sharing more than the love of sports, Susan brought a passion for music and animals into their marriage. Susan hopes to one day be able to start her own passion project, an animal rescue.
At the end of 2019, Sam Benoikken passed away unexpectedly, leaving Medina Oven & Bar in the care of his loving wife. As Susan continues to uphold his legacy, there have been many challenges along the way, naming COVID as the most recent obstacle. With the support of her family and friends, Susan has been able to keep the restaurant open and continues to serve the community.
She credits Victory Park as being a “wonderful community of people.” During the day, Susan tries to find time to sit outside by the fountain to watch all of the different people going by. It’s from this spot that she can see what her husband saw so many years ago: a place where people live and gather to enjoy great food, drinks, music and activities.
The word Medina, by definition, refers to the “center of the city” in Morocco. Sam wanted to provide Dallas and the Metroplex something of value: a restaurant that blends innovation with tradition. Guests feel transported to another world while they experience the savory cuisine and sensual music that make up what some consider to be the center of Dallas’ restaurant scene.
Since taking sole ownership, Susan has made the executive decision to increase focus on to-go and delivery services. She teases that Medina has a few new and exciting things coming down the line and encourages guests to keep an eye on the restaurant’s website and social channels for updates and events for the near future.
You can support Sam’s legacy by taking on a lively and enriched dining experience at Medina Oven & Bar.