When Shakou Arlington Heights opens their doors on June 16, that marks the fifth community they bring their bustling city-like atmosphere to since they opened their first location in Libertyville only four years ago.
Many Shakou regulars flock to the restaurant for the impeccable sushi plated with incredible panache—the sushi boat, for example, arrives with a full wooden sail and a petite fishing net hung off the mast while all manner of sushi and maki decorate the deck. The most popular Signature maki at Shakou is a new menu item, the Niku Niku. This dish features sliced NY Strip, spicy tuna, asparagus, avocado and spring greens wrapped in soy paper and topped with unagi sauce, spicy mayo, ginger dressing and chili oil. If we’re talking about lunch, patrons definitely prefer the bento boxes. Some of their most popular entrees are more traditional selections like the new Diver Scallop and Shrimp or Braised Short Rib entrees, given the inspired Shakou treatment by Chef Sang Choi.
“Our entire menu is unique, in my opinion,” says Chef Choi. “My goal was to take traditional, popular Asian offerings and add Shakou twists to create something familiar yet unique. There are options for vegetarians and vegans and we even have a gluten-free and a kids menu. From appetizers to entrees to desserts, we have the ultimate dining experience in the most vibrant atmosphere I have ever seen in my many years in the business.”
All Shakou Restaurants locations have that consistent Shakou “city vibe” atmosphere that our patrons have come to know and love,” says Co-owner Adam Garvanian. “Shakou Arlington Heights is an open, one level, free flowing energetic space that features a lounge, cocktail and sushi bars and an outdoor lounge and patio seating. It is our first location with a patio like this.”
Though there’s a familiar Shakou vitality that permeates throughout each of their locations in Libertyville, Barrington, Park Ridge, St. Charles, and now Arlington Heights, each space has exciting individual touches that distinguish it to the individual community it’s a part of.
“The amazing communities that surround and support the local businesses in the areas where we have opened Shakou Restaurants have been key to our success as a brand,” says Co-owner Alex Dupor. “Chef Choi’s diverse menu coupled with the ‘city vibe’ décor and atmosphere at our restaurants drive a significant amount of repeat business for both dining and events. We have been overwhelmed at the response in Arlington Heights. This one might break all of the records and we could not be more thankful for all of the support on our fifth Shakou restaurant opening.”
But they also engage the community in other ways, as well. The Shakou Cares Program was founded by the owners of Shakou Restaurants and has become the social mission for Shakou—dedicated to raising funds, finding cures, and championing local causes. The Shakou Arlington Heights Shakou Cares Program will donate a portion of proceeds from their grand opening celebration weekend starting on June 16 to the Muscular Dystrophy Association in loving memory of Lonnie Russell and to the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society in loving memory of Svetomir Dupor.
“The patrons at all of our locations love the Shakou Cares Program,” says Co-owner, Ed Hartigan. “We have worked with many local families and organizations to assist fundraisers and charitable organizations through the Shakou Cares program and look forward to many more, because that is what family and community is all about. That is what the owners and staff are at Shakou—family.”
The spirit of family and the energetic atmosphere is what allows Shakou to host so many kinds of customer experiences all under one roof. Looking from table to table you’ll see family dinners, date nights, ladies nights, and business meetings. They also easily accommodate private functions, making it the natural choice for everything from private family celebrations to elaborate fundraising galas. But what the communities love about Shakou most of all, is the vibrant city feel at play every night of the week without having to trek all the way downtown.
Shakou Arlington Heights is located at 70 N. Vail Avenue in Arlington Heights, 847-749-3915. Reservations are recommended. To make reservations, visit shakourestaurants.com.