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"Sauce's" new location provides outdoor ambiance great barbecue

By: Kenny Ehman

Date Posted: 1998-05-09

Sauce. It is the name of one of Okinawa's "hot" entertainment places to eat and enjoy some great music since 1991. Anyone who has not heard of "Sauce" yet, is missing out on some of the best barbecue food in town. Now, "Sauce" fans and newcomers alike, can enjoy "Sauce's" original recipe at their brand new location, which just opened on May 1.

The Grand Opening Party was an extravaganza of many different faces, excellent live jazz, and plenty of that famous "sauce" being consumed all around. Old, young, couples, singles, Americans, and Okinawans all mixed for a "New Orleans's style" party, with lots of "finger licking" the whole night. Conversation and the noise of laughter combined with the clatter of dishes and glasses, while an outdoor barbecue filled the air with an irresistible aroma. A constant flow of both elegance and casual persona paraded through Sauce's doors into the late hours. Live jazz permeated the warm evening getting everyone in the "mood". Everything was great - but the real talk of the night was about the "sauce".

The new Sauce is located in Hambi, just near the Hambi Town shopping center. It provides one of the best gathering places on Okinawa with its open air, indoor-outdoor style of dining. Walking up to the entrance, you are greeted with the pink neon "Sauce" sign that leads you into a courtyard. Outdoor- patio style furniture, along with a casual atmosphere, lets you relax outside and soak up the warm summer night ambiance of Hambi. There is also plenty of space for large groups to kick back and enjoy the night. From the courtyard you can enter the inside of the restaurant, which is nicely decorated with photographs of different album covers and various musical artists. White painted walls with black ceiling fans in constant motion give the restaurant a tropical feeling. The awesome sound system pumps out some cool jazz mixed with some soft rock, hip hop, and some R&B. Many black tables and black chairs dot the room, including some nice comfortable sofa style seats. A stage at the other end of the room gives patrons a chance to view some great bands during the evening. Large open windows connect the outside with inside, and bring the two areas closer together. Friendly staff are busy moving from table to table taking orders and bringing food and drinks.

The restaurant and food are definitely originals here on Okinawa, and owner, Reggie Dumas, has done an excellent job at creating a very friendly atmosphere that everyone can enjoy. "It's the only true real American restaurant on Okinawa. We don't use micro waves or heat lamps, and our service is personal. Our staff is close to the customers," said Dumas. "Sauce is for everyone - black, white, young, old, doctors, lawyers, American, and Japanese," he further mentioned.

If you do not know by now, Sauce is famous for its ribs and original spicy barbecue sauce. The original Sauce first opened in Ginowan, where Dumas decided to bring his barbecue cooking for everyone to sample. "I was discouraged about not having a place to go and eat. I was tired of the poor service being given to the military," explained Dumas about his initial idea to open a "Sauce" restaurant. Dumas also explained that the ribs he makes are "pork rib tips", which have more meat to bite into. Right now the menu consists of a triple combo that includes a mound of those tender ribs, ample portions of chicken that are first deep fried, some deep fried shrimp in a crispy batter, and "home-cut" style french fries, all smothered in Dumas' original barbecue sauce. The price for a triple combo is $15 (1500). Fries can also be ordered separately for $3 (300). Soft drinks cost about $3 (300), and a variety of cocktails and beers can be had for about $5 (600). All drinks can also be ordered by the pitcher.

Dumas also plans to open a beer garden, take out shop, souvenir store, and bring in a DJ to fill some of the empty spaces of the mini outdoor complex that is now home to Sauce. He also is planning on having live music every night, featuring mostly jazz, but also including some hip hop, and soft rock. "Dreams come true if you work hard," said Dumas about giving advice to future entrepreneurs. He also said that he gives "special thanks to his wife, staff, and most of all, the customers."

To get to Sauce turn off of Route 58 into Hambi, where "Subway" and the Hambi Town Shopping Center are located. Sauce is on the corner, at the end of the road, across from the park. Head on over and find out what all the talk over "Sauce" is about.

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