The poke trend shows no signs of slowing down. Why would it? Dismissing it as some millennial fascination ignores that the dish combines two things lots of people like to eat, sushi and salad, into one convenient meal.
Brothers Christopher and Henry Lav have found success as franchisees of Pokéworks, the New York City-based restaurant with six Houston-area locations. Having already opened locations in Montrose, near The Heights, and in Katy, the brothers are looking to the Medical Center for their fourth location. Located at 8505 South Main St., the new Pokéworks replaces a Which Wich and is slated to open in August.
Christohper Lav tells CultureMap that he and his brother decided to get into the poke business after trying the dish in California. After researching various restaurants, a family friend introduced them to Pokéworks.
“We thought it was well-organized,” he says. “We got in touch with their CEO. From then on, here we are.”
Another aspect of Pokéworks that appealed to the brothers is its community-minded fundraisers. On Tuesday, June 11, they’ll continue that work in partnership with Houston Texans kicker (and native Hawaiian) Ka'imi Fairbairn, who will celebrate King Kamehameha Day at the Montrose location (2055 Westheimer Rd.) from 5-6 pm. The restaurant will donate 10 percent of that day’s sales to The Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit devoted to removing plastic from the world’s oceans.
Lav says he thinks the trend has staying power, because the dish itself has such wide appeal. “Initially I had that concern, but the more I’m at the store, I see the customers, they really like it. We used to think it was a specific age group, but we see it’s everybody. I think it’s going to stay for a long time.”