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SHI Owner And Employees To Open Japanese Restaurant Early 2017


May 20, 2016 By Christian Murray

The owner of SHI and three of his employees are partnering up for a Japanese restaurant that will be opening on Jackson Avenue at the beginning of 2017.

The restaurant, which will be called Sapps, will be in a 2,200-square-foot space located next door to Dutch Kills Bar at 27-26 Jackson Ave.

Eric Lehrer, who has been a bartender at SHI for eight years, is one of the partners in the venture, along with SHI bartender Charlie Kim and long-time waiter Selix Lai. The three men—all western Queens residents—join Shih Lee, the well known owner of the Center Boulevard restaurant SHI.

“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.”

Carlos Calle, the former chef at Sapporo East in the East Village, will be running the kitchen. The restaurant will offer primarily Japanese food and there will be a sushi bar.

While the menu has not yet been finalized, it will be different from the Asian fusion offered at SHI.

Lehrer said that Sapps will be classy and will have a good vibe.

“We want people to have a good time, listen to good music, feel comfortable,” he said.

Lehrer said that their goal is to help provide an upbeat spot for Court Square residents that will be much more than a restaurant.

The restaurant will feature a mezzanine with room for about 30 patrons. Lehrer said that this space will be available for private events such as baby showers.

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

Lehrer said that all four partners were determined to have a venue in the greater neighborhood.

“Long Island City is a small town where everyone knows each other,” Lehrer said. “We like it here since we have so many relationships.”

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Another Japanese restaurant. What is happening to our neighborhood!!

Are there no original ideas left here? A new Japanese place opened up on 50th avenue just a few months after Sushi Daizen. It’s less than a 10 min walk from here.


Eric and Charlie make SHI feel warm!! Shi is a great host, always around to say hello. SHI has a great neigbhoody vibe and I wish them the best at the new spot. Can’t wait!!


See look at this….SHI, a restaurant in perhaps the most expensive part of LIC with possibly the highest rent in LIC, is EXPANDING….coincidence? Nope Its the food! They dont serve crappy brunches or experimental menus…Its Chinese food! LIC may think they are too good for a fried chicken joint, but I gurantee a fried chicken joint will outlast any other “Creative” restaurants that pops up. After all, look at Peteys, Burger Garage, and Bareburger…3 burger places all within 5 blocks radius…there still here.


Burger Garage is not in the same area and that place smells so bad I can’t stand it. Petey’s has a manager/owner who is never there and has employees that look like they just got out of prison and laugh the entire time they make your food, all while peering out at you. Not to mention a sign on the door that says they are the second best burger in NYC. I don’t have to do research to know that that is not true. Bareburger is barely a burger place no pun intended. You forgot the best burger place in the area. Corner Bistro. I like no frills, but I really hope Corner Bistro does something to spruce up a bit. It looks like an old Elks Club. No natural light. They can get away with that in Manhattan but this place is going to die. Not to mention, they have the slowest service in NYC.


God Corner Bistro is so slow… the only place the takes a longer time to deliver is Bella Via.


Ahhhh yes I forgot about corner bistro….that makes 4 burger places….the point is….these businesses are STILL alive just serving fries and burger…..I assume the rent isn’t any different than the other restaurants in the area.


Corner Bistro has been open for years at that location and are consistently packed, especially late at night.


They definitely could spruce up. Good food but drab environment. Charming only when you are buzzed.


This is part of DeBlasio’s corrupt cronyism forcing out poor people with $14 rainbow rolls instead of chicken fried rice for the common man. Think about how many bowling alleys they could have built in that space.


I have to be honest, SHI is not good-quality Chinese food any more. I would love to see a higher end, quality Chinese restaurant in the area…something more upscale than New City (solid hole-in-the-wall cheap Chinese) with authentic regional Chinese food. SHI relies on booze and location to make money, just like Skinny’s and its awful “Mexican food”.


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