Hawaiian Poké Restaurant PokéOno Coming to Southside Marketplace

| June 6, 2018 | 1 Comments

Salisbury University graduates Andrew Danieli and Joshua Kachura are opening PokéOno at 849 E. Fort Ave. in Southside Marketplace in Riverside/Locust Point. The approximately 900 sq. ft. space was formerly Hunan Empire before closing in 2015.

PokéOno started when Danieli began selling poké bowls at events and farmers markets in New York City. Poké is a Hawaiian dish that became popular with fishermen on the Pacific islands. It features rice; seafood, including raw tuna and salmon; and toppings such as veggies, spices, and sauces.

Poké became of favorite dish of Danieli’s when he would visit his New Jersey surfing buddies who had moved to the North Shore of Oahu. He decided he wanted to bring the dish to the East Coast and did “crazy research” talking to chefs all over Hawaii.

Danieli got tired of the high rents in New York City and decided to look to Philadelphia for his first brick-and-mortar restaurant. He opened the first PokéOno in Ardmore, PA just outside Philadelphia. He told SouthBMore.com that business has been going really well.

Kachura, who met Danieli in college, got involved in the business in 2017 to lead the search for and opening of a Baltimore area location. Kachura grew up outside Baltimore in Anne Arundel County.

The search for a new location took a while, but the team found what they were looking for at Southside Marketplace. “It’s right up our alley with the younger, more modern, and adventurous eaters in the area who are used to eating sushi,” said Kachura. “It’s also a huge plus that there are no parking issues at this location. For fast casual, we thought that would be perfect.”

Kachura noted he is also excited about all the new developments and large businesses already in the area.

PokéOno’s buildout will start in a few weeks, and they are hoping to open the restaurant in early Fall. The interior will have a large projector screen playing vintage and modern surfing videos at all times, as well as a surf-inspired design throughout. Customers will walk down an ordering line picking their ingredients and watching their food be prepared. The space will include interior seating that is likely to include a bar top.

PokéOno customers can build their own bowl choosing from brown rice, white rice, or a mixed greens base; a protein of ahi tuna, raw salmon, shrimp, or tofu; sauces that include shoyou, spicy aioli, wasabi shoyou, and citrus ponzi; and topping such as veggies, crispy onions, wasabi peas, avocado, kimchi, and herbs and spices. Customer can also order a featured bowl. Bowls at the Ardmore location start at $8.95 and range to $13.95.

All the fish will be brought in fresh daily and the sauces will be homemade.

The restaurant will also offer homemade chips, passion green tea, coconut water, and Hawaiian canned juices called POG.

PokéOno will be open daily from 11am to 9pm.

Scott Herman, who represents Southside Marketplace with H & R Retail, told SouthBMore.com, “We think this concept adds to the millennial-driven food scene, and adds to South Baltimore’s overall continued growth.”

Photos courtesy of PokéOno

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About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at Kevin@InceptMM.com and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.