Neighborhood Japanese Restaurant Sake Café Offers Big City Menu with Small Town Feel


Laurel’s 16th Avenue is arguably the busiest highway in town, so it’s not surprising that it’s sometimes often easy to miss some of its hidden treasures. But Sake Restaurant, a Laurel staple since 2009, is one place that’s all but hidden. It stands out among the eateries in town as a local business with outstanding sushi cuisine, excellent service and friendly staff.


Most who visit Sake for the first time quickly make it a part of their local dining list of favorites. In fact, manager Nikole Quarells remembers when the team at Sake went so far as to help a customer surprise his girlfriend with a proposal. “The couple loved Sake so much that he wanted to make it a part of their engagement story,” Quarells said. “He asked her to marry him at booth C8, and they still often visit when they are in town to see us.” She added, “We love that we can combine quality ingredients with quality relationships and be more than just a restaurant to our community.” 

While today, it may seem that Laurel is adding new restaurants at every turn, but those who have lived here a while know this wasn’t always the case. In 2009, Jessica Zheng moved to Laurel and quickly noticed that, at that time, the town didn’t have many options for those looking for Japanese cuisine. “The art of sushi isn’t one to be taken for granted, and true Japanese cuisine is hard to come by in many small towns,” said Jessica. “Sake not only offers a full sushi bar with both raw and cooked rolls, but we also specialize in hibachi,” she added. “With our focus on high-quality ingredients, we believe we offer a menu similar to what most bigger towns would offer right here in Laurel.”  

In addition to serving delicious Japanese food, Sake likes to stay involved in the community with events like the upcoming Shop 16th Fall Festival and Trunk Show. At this event, Sake will host a booth with games for children attending the event. Quarells believes that being located on the major corridor of 16th Avenue has allowed the staff at Sake to meet a lot of people from all over the country.

Sake offers a daily lunch bento box and hibachi lunch special, as well as evening activities and specials throughout the week, including buy one dinner hibachi, get the second half off. To view a menu, visit

Laura Johns