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The poke craze continues. This time, it's hitting Brookfield.
Pokéworks, one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing poke brands, has set its sights on Milwaukee. In fact, the brand will open its first location in November at 17000 W. Bluemound Rd.
The brand, which was founded in California in 2015, currently has more than 120 locations open or under development.
Best known for their "poké burrito," Pokéworks has built a reputation for its unique take on Hawaiian-inspired poké bowls and a dedication to serving gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian and vegan customers. Growth for the brand has been partially fueled by its "millennial relevance," which includes high-quality and affordable build-your-own menu featuring unique regional options including proteins, sauces, mix-ins and toppings.
Of course, the Milwaukee market has seen a similar model in home-grown brands including Freshfin Poké (which recently opened locations in Brookfield and Madison) and the newly opened R&R Poké in Wauwatosa village, both of which offer the customization that guests crave, along with fresh takes on poké staples. In recent months, Milwaukee has also seen the addition of two Chicago-based brands: Fusion Poké on the East Side and Aloha Poké in the Third Ward.
The increasing interest in fast casual poke makes the market of particular interest to brands like Pokéworks who value the city's rapid development and demographic.
"Milwaukee is an ideal market to develop the Pokéworks concept in due to its strong demographics and urban setting, which represents vital elements key to our brand," noted Kevin Hsu, co-founder of Pokéworks in a press release about the location.
"We are excited to be able to bring the first Pokéworks location to Wisconsin and are confident it will become a go-to spot for the community to enjoy healthy and delicious alternatives, while also feeling great about what they’re eating."
"As a ‘relative’ to the sushi segment, which has exploded nationally throughout mainstream, we are excited to develop poke into Milwaukee with Pokéworks at the leading edge of the curve in this rapidly growing space," added Hsu.
Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.