Sushi by Boū Is a Speakeasy-Inspired Omakase Spot in Albany

At its newest location in Albany, Sushi by Boū reimagines the omakase experience in an intimate prohibition-themed setting.

With an ever-growing list of locations, Sushi by Boū is successfully changing the sushi scene across America. The brand seeks to bring a high-end omakase experience to patrons in a fun, speakeasy-style environment. Spanning major cities like New York, Chicago, and Fort Lauderdale, Sushi by Boū has now opened its 15th location on Albany’s Howard Street. The restaurant and lounge is housed in the former Speakeasy 518 location, underneath the City Beer Hall.

Led by New York City-based hospitality group SimpleVenue, Sushi by Boū’s expansion into upstate New York is an exciting and fitting venture for the brand. “We’ve had our sights set on upstate New York for some time. We can feel a shift in businesses moving upstate for the fresh open air and beautiful foliage or cozy winters and it’s the perfect time of year for people from all over to visit the area with the beautiful transition to winter and scenery. As a growing hospitality group, we want to align ourselves with the best, and nothing is better than the capital of New York,” says Sushi by Boū’s chief operating officer Dan Zelkowitz.

Sushi by Boū bar

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SimpleVenue specializes in curating underutilized spaces with experiential microconcepts within hotels, commercial spaces, and existing establishments. As it aligns with the brand’s mission, the former Speakeasy 518 location seemed like the perfect venue to set up shop and expand Sushi by Boū’s offerings to a new audience. “When we discovered City Beer Hall located inside Albany’s historic old Telephone Company building, it felt fitting for a Prohibition and roaring ’20s theme,” says Zelkowitz.

Not only does Sushi by Boū offer a modern take on the classic old-school sushi counter, but each location provides visitors with a truly unique and personalized culinary experience. While the brand has explored restaurant themes like hip hop, disco, whiskey library, and Tokyo alley, Albany’s roaring ‘20s vibe is sure to transport diners to an exciting new world for the night.

Albany’s restaurant features 12 seats at the intimate sushi counter and a bar for creative cocktails that can be enjoyed at a table, booth, or in the lounge. Seasoned sushi chefs expertly guide guests through a timed omakase experience, and diners are able to choose from a $60 12-course meal or a $100 17-course omakase that features five additional seasonal courses – both for a total time of 60 minutes. Sushi by Boū features delicacies like yellowtail, spotted prawn, salmon roe, scallops, fatty tuna, unagi, and the signature surf and turf Wagyuni.

Sushi by Boū Albany is open for dinner from 5 to 11 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The restaurant will also be offering a highly curated bar program in addition to its omakase experiences, and drinks can be enjoyed during all hours of operation. While sushi is only available at the counter, guests sipping cocktails in the lounge may discover a secret food menu from City Beer Hall if they look for it.

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Zelkowitz affirms that “this newest expansion brings the total location count for Sushi by Boū to 15 locations and 20 across the SimpleVenue portfolio, including sister brands Sushi Suite, Trust Bae, Omakaseed, Fins and Scales throughout New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Philadelphia, and South Florida – a continuation of our plans is to add more than a dozen locations in 2024. So, we hope to have more of a presence in upstate New York as we further establish ourselves in the area.”

Sushi by Boū is located at 42 Howard Street in Albany.

Related: A Hudson Valley Eatery Made It on Esquire’s Best New Restaurants List

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