Kampai to the Sake Shop

Place Sake Shop
Text Joseph Han
Art Chantelle Matsumura

Sake has a reputation as your father’s drink. But for Nadine and Malcolm Leong, proprietors of Hawai‘i’s first retail sake shop, they’ve found that their core market is 30– to 40-year-olds.

“We cater mostly to locals; tourists are often interested in tropical drinks like mai tais,” Ms. Leong told Summit.

Prices for their 150 different sake range from $20–$40, with some exclusive brands commanding much higher prices. The Sake Shop has grown every year since it opened in 2010.

Its location on King Street has proved to be good for business, Ms. Leong says. “There’s a lot of doctors and professional offices nearby. Our plans for the future include possibly moving to a bigger location and maybe opening a small sake tasting bar to accompany our retail store,” she says.

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