Poke Concept Opens Three Locations in NYC, Boosts Post-Pandemic Brand Expansion
Pokeworks announces the reopening of its Grand Central location in Manhattan, located at 117 E 41st St., representing the completion of the brand’s reopening to New York City residents. Following a pandemic-induced closure, on September 13 the Grand Central Pokeworks restaurant will once again welcome the NYC community to try its unique and flavorful poke creations. To celebrate this milestone, Pokeworks will be offering merchandise giveaways for first-in-line foodies all week long.
Pokeworks Grand Central is one of six locations that contribute to the brand’s growth strategy for the NYC market. Founded in 2015 in Midtown Manhattan, Pokeworks helped pioneer the mainland poke movement in the middle of the diverse New York City food scene with its first location in Bryant Park. In August, the brand reopened that flagship location and also celebrated the grand opening of a franchise-owned location near Hudson Yards.
“The growth of the New York City market goes further than hitting development milestones, as New York City continues to share a piece of the Pokeworks origin story,” said Michael Chen, Co-Founder of Pokeworks. “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.”
Pokeworks has been hard at work building the brand, rolling out new restaurant design and development projects, menu innovations and major additions to the C-Suite, all of which have fueled rapid franchise development as the brand is on track to add 10 locations by the end of 2021.
“Pokeworks began with nine founders who shared a vision to create a concept that delivers fresh, healthy and delicious poke to all, and has grown from one location in Manhattan to 64 locations worldwide in just five years,” said Steve Heeley, CEO of Pokeworks. “We strive to continue innovating, growing and improving our brand vision – and growing our NY presence in all the boroughs is part of that vision.”
As the nation’s largest poke brand, Pokeworks has led the growth of the premium poke industry, known for fresh and flavorful traditional Hawaiian-inspired poke. The brand is known for its Signature Works poke creations as well as its ‘Poke-Your-Way’ option for guests to build their own poke bowls, burritos or salads by selecting a base protein – tuna, salmon, chicken, shrimp and tofu, unique regional mix-ins, flavoring sauces, toppings and crunchy texture.
The brand’s performance has earned multiple awards wins, including being ranked as one of NRN’s Top Five Concepts in 2018, inclusion in Fast Casual’s Top 100 Movers and Shakers three years in a row, including being ranked in the top five brands for 2019 and 2020, and inclusion in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 ranking in 2021. Pokeworks has set aggressive expansion goals to double new store commitments in 2021 and 2022 as it seeks multi-unit operators throughout the United States and internationally.
Pokeworks is the nation’s largest and fastest-growing poke brands in North America with 64 locations open and more than 75 projected to open by the end of 2022. The brand provides a fresh take on Hawaiian-inspired poke burritos and bowls and salads derived from the highest quality ingredients. The brand’s unique menu allows for complete customization to cater to almost anyone, including those maintaining gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian, vegan as well as cooked or raw protein diets. For more information on Pokeworks’ franchise opportunities, visit https://www.pokeworks.com/franchise.