Broken water pipe temporarily puts popular downtown sushi restaurant out of business

Scott Franz

— Minutes after the pipe burst and water started raining down at a devastating rate Friday night, the community sprung into action to help save a flooded sushi restaurant on Yampa Street.

Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue quickly stopped the surge of water that made it out the front door and forced diners at Sake2U to evacuate.

Steamboat Flood Suckers arrived shortly after that to start cleaning up.

The mother of the restaurant’s owners, in her 70s, came to help wash dishes and wade through the debris. And neighboring restaurants and local electricians like Aspen Electric started calling and offering their help.

“We get a lot of community support in this small town,” co-owner Kier Delaney said Monday. “In all the trauma of this, that’s one part that’s been really positive.”

The burst pipe and the ensuing flood damage will keep Sake2U from reopening for several weeks.

Delaney said the restaurant will have to stay closed for at least a month because of the extensive damage caused by the flooding. As he put it, everything will have to be stripped down to the studs and redone.

But amidst the trauma of having to close a restaurant during the height of the winter tourism season, Delaney said there are three positive things to come in the wake of the burst pipe.

They include the outpouring of community support, the owners’ good insurance and the fact the restaurant will “come back better than ever.”

“We’ll basically have a brand new restaurant,” he said.

Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue firefighters responded to the incident and arrived to find water running out of the front door.

“Everybody had evacuated. The alarms were going off, and it was raining on the inside,” Steamboat Fire Rescue Capt. Michael Arce said. “There was lots and lots of water damage. It had to have been the cold.”

Sake2U isn’t the only restaurant on Yampa Street to suffer from a broken pipe in recent days during cold temperatures.

Arce said firefighters were called the next night to E3 Chophouse next door to Sake2U because of the same issue.

Arce said the damage at E3 wasn’t nearly as bad, and the pipe that burst was more isolated.

Delaney, who owns Sake2U with his brother Eric, said he’s still in shock about the incident at his restaurant.

He spent Monday continuing to pick up the pieces.

“It’s not a good thing. It’s never a good thing,” he said. “But in the big picture, it’s going to benefit us, as long as the insurance comes through.”

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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