Our Story



The Beginning

The roots of SAPPS began where SHI Owner, Shih Lee used to eat as a teenager in the East Village. A no frills, authentic Japanese restaurant serving izakaya style dishes before the popular explosion of Japanese food on St. Marks Place.

Fast forward to 2017, the vision starts with a determination to create a similar experience in LIC, but with a modern NYC vibe

SHI bartenders Eric Lehrer and Charlie Kim, along with long-time waiter Selix Lai have partnered with Shih Lee, the well known owner of the Center Boulevard restaurant SHI to make this dream a reality.

“Shih has been a mentor to me,” Lehrer said, adding that he has learned a great deal about the restaurant industry from his long-time boss. “He is like an older brother.”

The restaurant will offer primarily Japanese food but the goal is to offer different Asian fusion dishes than the offerings at SHI.

Our goal is to provide an upbeat spot for Court Square residents that will be much more than a just a restaurant.

SAPPS features a mezzanine with room for about 30 patrons which will also be available for private events such as baby showers, birthdays, anniversaries and other large gatherings.

The ground floor level will have space for about 50 diners.