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Sauce Live celebrates 10 years in restaurant business

By: David Knickerbocker

Date Posted: 2002-08-08

Sauce Live, one of Okinawa’s hottest spots for food and entertainment, recently celebrated it’s 10-year anniversary. The restaurant first opened on August 1, 1992 across the street from Futenma housing, as a twelve-seat restaurant catering more towards takeout than anything else. In the beginning, though the restaurant only had twelve seats, the restaurant instantly gained publicity and more people than could fit would often visit, so the restaurant became quite crowded. This led Reggie Dumas, the creator of Sauce, to open the second Sauce close to Kadena Air Base Gate 1 on Highway 58. The Futenma branch then served as a daytime restaurant, and the new Kadena branch served during the night. Reggie noticed a build of popularity during the evenings and decided to push for the late hours.

He closed down the first Sauce in March 1995 and decided to open nightclub Rejays in Okinawa City. The club was a spin-off of Sauce, but after Okinawa City became off limits for most Americans, Reggie closed the nightclub in December 1995 and decided to concentrate fully on Sauce again. Also, the restaurant held a booth at the 1997 America Fest, which was extremely popular with local and American guests of the event. “We made more than $30,000 in sales and the line to our booth was about 30 yards long,” boasts Reggie. “So we decided to up the level of Sauce.”

In January 1998, Reggie moved Sauce from Kadena to a new location in Hamby Town. “Hamby had a location that sounded god, so we opened Sauce Live in 1998,” says Reggie. “The whole Hamby corner was Sauce Live at one time. During our first year, business was very good, but things got out of hand so we decided to concentrate more on the food than anything else. We wanted to make things more family oriented so we decided to focus on couples and families. We still do parties and other events for the younger people just to get them familiar with the area and a chance to try the food though.”

Sauce Live’s ten-year anniversary in business is quite an accomplishment by any business’ standards, but being that this is a foreigner run business, this is an extremely exceptional occasion. The food at the restaurant is unique to Okinawa, serving some of the best home-style southern cooking I’ve had on island. Though there are a few seats in the Hamby Sauce Live, the restaurant pushes takeout rather than dining in. Either way, you’re sure to leave satisfied. For a great spot to bring a date or some friends for a classy meal at a great setting, be sure to check out the Hamby Sauce Live. “I think you should try Sauce at least once and let the food speak for itself,” Reggie recommends. “Our food is home-style and doesn’t taste like a restaurant. Most meals go for $15 on average, and drinks are two for $5, so couples can eat for $25.” Also, be sure to check out Sauce Live’s collection of ten years of photos in albums to see how much the restaurant has changed and evolved over the years.

Sauce Live is a mellow, soulful hangout with a jazzy feel about it that can be described as cool, classy, and comfortable. They are currently open everyday from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. on the weekdays and until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Make a take-out order by calling 936-0204. Congratulations to Sauce Live for such an exciting accomplishment.

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