Every year, right before Matsuri, I freak out. For about a week, I worry that no one will show up. This year was no different, and posed the biggest question: what if no one knows we've moved??? What a tragedy it would be if we opened the doors at noon and no one came? Tumbleweeds and sadness...
But I should never doubt our wonderful community who come out every year for all the fun, the food, and the taiko. And this year, we had the best thing of all – booze! To celebrate our grand opening in our new space at 4027 Broadway, we invited our favorite drink friends to help break in our shop, now complete with a bar.
People started lining up at the door (fears defeated) and promptly at noon, Yoko and I broke the kagamiwari. We did this at our grand opening at our original location in 2012, so it was important that we did this here. Once the kagamiwari was broken, the sake flowed. And flowed. It never seemed to end.
Breaking the kagamiwari (sake cask) at noon. The start of Matsuri, and for a prosperous future at our new location!
Miho and Lani pouring Den Sake
Lauren pouring Nikka Coffey Grain and limited edition FTB
Paul from Nankai Shochu and Graham from Hitachino!
Sake Gumi members Brittany + Austin, and friend. They are holding a commemorative Umami Mart Tasting glass, courtesy of Toyo-Sasaki Glass Company
Yoko and family
Jonah and family
Stonemill Matcha crew (l-r): Keisuke, Fernanda, Mikiko, Candice
Stonemill's famous Katsu Sando
View from the ground
View from up top!
Emeryville Taiko performed twice
Yoshihiro Sako, head brewer and co-owner of Den Sake pours sake for a guest
Jody and Meena
Ian + Becky
My daughter Mion's first Matsuri!
Longtime Umami Mart customers Scott + Larry
Umami Mart family
Thank you to our partners, community, and friends for supporting Umami Mart year after year. I will never doubt you!
More awesome photos of Matsuri by Eisuke Muroga here.