Monday, February 13, 2017

Don't Call it Hokey, Plenty More Poke Parlors Planned

The existing Poké Bar in Sandy Springs 
Plenty of poke planned for Atlanta 

Poké Bar, the Los Angeles based poke restaurant that opened their first Atlanta area restaurant last year, reportedly plans to open two new locations later this spring.  On the heels of the initial location on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs, Poké Bar plans to open new locations in Atlanta and Alpharetta.

The Atlanta location will open in the Edgewood Retail District on Moreland Avenue in place of what was most recently Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint (and before that, a Caribou Coffee).  The Alpharetta location will reportedly open in The Atwater, a new center on Old Milton Parkway across from Avalon.

The existing location in Abernathy Square is 1,479 square feet and occupies the former Seven Hens eatery.  The Edgewood location is 1,801 square feet, while the likely space in The Atwater is 1,475 square feet.  The other available space in The Atwater is the recently vacated Pieology space, but it is 2,800 square feet, surely larger than Poké Bar needs. 

I broke news last month that Poké Perfect, another poke eatery with U.S. headquarters in Atlanta, plans to open its first domestic location later this spring in Decatur.  The growing chain plans to subsequently expand to other intown locations such as the westside and Inman Park near the BeltLine. 

In addition to  Poké Bar and  Poké Perfect, Bull Gogi, which took over the Decatur location of Seven Hens, has become poke focused in their menu, a pivot from their Korean focused original location in Peachtree Corners. 

In addition, Kale Me Crazy, the juice and smoothie joint, shared an image on their official Instagram page earlier this month saying "Coming soon... #pokebowl."  Kale Me Crazy has eight locations open from Inman Park to Roswell, with a ninth coming soon to The Avenue East Cobb.  Roi Shlomo, the founder of Kale Me Crazy, previously started Yogli Mogli, a frozen yogurt chain that he has since sold.  While there is definitely still interest in juicing, Shlomo is clearly doing the best he can to capitalize on the latest food craze.  

What are your thoughts on the current poke craze?  Where would you like to see the next poke shop open?  Do you think it's weird that Kale Me Crazy added poke to its menu?

Please share your thoughts below.  


AJ said...

Glad poke options are coming, but I can't imagine a boom of poke restaurants similar to the burger/cupcake/pizza/yogurt boom. I mean these people do have to realize that the audience for poke is no where near the size of the other food options. I wish them all the best.

jeff a. taylor said...

I think you are correct AJ, but the $10 burger thing didn't make any sense and it happened. Still happens. If people are willing to throw money at "can't miss" ideas, we get these weird booms.

And no it is not weird that Kale Me Crazy added poke -- eating kale is weird, so there is a sort of freedom to that I guess. Seriously, if they can source the fish and prep it right (my standing concern about poke mania) seems like a complementary good to a yard weed. Yoga pants moms will love it.

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