WRITTEN BY SABU PULLANO SHAKE, JR.
Sabu Shake, “JR”, was born and raised in Monterey, California. He is the 4th son of Isabella Pullano Shake and the late Sabu Shake, Sr., and brother to Benji, David, Chris, Angelo and Tene. He is a devout Catholic and proud father of five children and three grandchildren. Sabu attended Monterey and Carmel schools and graduated from Monterey High School in 1978.
Sabu began working at the family restaurant, Old Fisherman’s Grotto, at an early age in the kitchen alongside his dad and brothers. He worked his way up to Maitre’d, cashier, manager and learned all aspects of the restaurant business, marketing, financial management and is currently the CFO of the Restaurant Pacific Group, Fish Hopper Monterey, and Fish Hopper Kona Hawaii.
In 1995, Sabu and his brother Chris opened The Fish Hopper restaurant on the historic Cannery Row. With the enormous success of this restaurant, they soon purchased an oceanfront property in Kona, Hawaii, and opened The Fish Hopper restaurant in Kona, along with other commercial and rental properties, employing over 400 employees.
Sabu is currently a member of the Compari Club, the Paisano Club, the Chaines des Rotisseurs, the Sheriff Advisory Council, the Fisherman’s Wharf Association and is a past Board Member of the Boys & Girls Club, the California Restaurant Association, and the Monterey Commercial Properties Association.
He was awarded the M. Temple Elliott Award from The Salvation Army – Monterey Peninsula Corps and The Others Award--the highest national award given to a civilian by The Salvation Army. In addition, in 2015 the Paisano Club named Sabu the “Paisano of the Year” and he was also inducted into the Junior Achievement Hall of Fame.
Sabu has served as a volunteer in many local fundraisers and charitable events along with supporting, through The Fish Hopper Restaurants in Monterey and Kona Hawaii, over 300 non-profits, charities and events by donations, sponsorships and financial support that directly benefit our homeless community.
In 2007, he organized a dinner and live auction event entitled “Sabu’s Safari” to raise additional funds to benefit The Salvation Army – Monterey Peninsula Corps in conjunction with the annual Christmas Fundraiser done in memory of Sabu Shake, Sr. The first Sabu’s Safari was attended by over 250 guests and was a tremendous success and is now hosting its 14th year. To date over five million dollars has been raised for the benefit of The Salvation Army – Monterey Peninsula Corps. As a result of his efforts, The Salvation Army renamed their Sand City Good Samaritan Center to the Sabu Shake Sr. Good Samaritan Center. “It’s a great honor,” said Sabu Shake, JR. “It is a great way to remember what he did for all those years.”
In 2012, Sabu initiated a Salvation Army Turkey Drive Challenge. He reached out to friends, business colleagues and vendors for donations to purchase turkeys or hams for people in need during the holidays. This is now an annual “Turkey Drive” that provides the funds to purchase nearly 1500 turkeys and hams each year. Sabu also hosted an annual Holiday Toy Drive at his home that generated thousands of toys to families and children during Christmas.
In addition, when tragedy strikes our community such as the recent fires, he is the first one to volunteer to provide and organize food and beverages for the firefighters and crews working on the fires.
In November 2014, he initiated and hosted the first ever Red Kettle Kickoff for The Salvation Army at The Fish Hopper Restaurant in Kona, Hawaii. It was a tremendous success, which continues to this day bringing in necessary funds to benefit the people who are in need in the Kona homeless community.
During the recent Covid Pandemic when businesses were ordered to close, Sabu along with his brother Chris were so concerned about their employees health and financial welfare that they decided to feed their employees and their family one meal each day throughout the entire time the restaurants were closed. In addition, they fed the waterfront homeless community and all the people that reside in the transitional housing units at The Salvation Army.