Shih Lee, Eric Lehrer ‘excited’ to open Japanese eatery ‘Sapps’ at 27-26 Jackson Avenue

In April, reports surfaced that Shih Lee would be opening a Japanese restaurant at 27-26 Jackson Avenue, a space owned by Rockrose.12 We recently sat down with Lee and his partner for the project, Eric Lehrer, to discuss the new eatery and their thoughts about Court Square. Here are various snippets from our conversation with them:

Shih Lee: “The place is going to be called ‘Sapps.’ That’s what I called Sapporo East growing up. I went there for 20 years. I want people to know that Sapporo East is alive and well.”

Eric Lehrer: “Just like Sapporo East had a great run, we want to take it to the next level.”

SL: “We’re looking to open in early 2017. It’s going to be a great concept. It’s going to have a mezzanine area that seats about 30 people. And you’ll be able to have private events there. We really want to pay respect to the area. There’s going to be 5 Pointz graffiti as part of the design.”

EL: “Court Square has been around before the boom and the 5 Pointz was a big part of that. We want to integrate the history and character of the neighborhood into Sapps.  I think it’s part of our philosophy to remember the good things from the past and hold on to it and take it into the future. We want to remember all the good it did for the neighborhood.”

SL: “It’s not going to be a traditional Japanese restaurant. It’s going to be a neighborhood place. You can come in alone, and you won’t feel alone. If you come in with a friend, you’re going to have a great time.”

EL: “You’re going to get a great meal and great service in a great space, but we want you to feel like family, like you’re creating this space with us. That’s what we have done for years. We build relationships and friendships. I hope to have a huge Sapps family that includes long time residents and all new comers to the area.”

SL: “Court Square is really coming along quickly. I can’t believe it, but it’s going to be even bigger than the waterfront. It’s incredible what’s going on there.”

EL: “I think one of the greatest things about Sapps is going to be the neighborhood of Court Square. Anyone who has eyes can see the area is booming. The neighborhood is growing and changing at an incredible speed. I am so excited to be a part of that growth.”

27-26 Jackson Avenue

27-26 Jackson Avenue will be the new home of ‘Sapps’

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