Following a lengthy shutdown due to government-imposed coronavirus pandemic restrictions in New York City, the Pokéworks fast casual restaurant franchise has reopened three outlets in Manhattan, including its Grand Central location at East 41st Street.
Founded in 2015, Pokéworks was at the forefront of promoting traditional Hawaiian-inspired marinated fish dishes featuring diced cubes of raw ahi tuna and salmon in NYC with the inauguration of its first build-your-own style poke restaurant near Bryant Park at West 37th Street. In August, it reopened the flagship eatery and also celebrated the grand opening of a new franchise-owned unit near Hudson Yards.
“The growth of the New York City market goes further than hitting development milestones, as New York continues to share a piece of the Pokéworks origin story,” said Michael Chen, co-founder of the company. “The Bryant Park and Grand Central locations remind us of where we started, and the new location in Hudson Yards is an example of where we’re going and growing in the market.”
“Pokéworks began with nine founders who shared a vision to create a concept that delivers healthy and delicious poke to all, and grew from one location in Manhattan to 64 outlets in just five years,” said CEO Steve Heeley. He added that more than 75 restaurants are projected to be operational by the end of 2022.
Pokéworks’ menu includes bowls, salads and burritos featuring offerings such as Hawaiian Ahi (tuna, cucumber, sweet onion, hijiki seaweed, edamame, classic sauce, chili flakes, seaweed salad, green onion, sesame seeds, and shredded nori); Umami Ahi (tuna, cucumber, sweet onion, hijiki seaweed, edamame, umami shoyu sauce, surimi salad, pickled ginger, green onion, sesame seeds, garlic crisps); Yuzu Ponzu Salmon (Atlantic salmon, cucumber, sweet onion, pineapple, cilantro, ponzu fresh sauce, seaweed salad, green onion, sesame seeds, onion crisps).