“Much more traction than I expected:” FreshFin Poké opening Third Ward location in fall 2017

MILWAUKEE – Six months after opening at 1806 E. North Avenue, the owner of FreshFin Poké, a fast-casual Poké restaurant, said a second location in the Third Ward is expected to open in early October.

The new FreshFin Poké will be located in the Landmark Building at 316 N. Milwaukee Street, sharing a lobby with Holey Moley Coffee + Doughnuts. While the current FreshFin location’s hours span from late morning through the evening, Nate Arkush, the owner,  said the Landmark Building location will target the downtown lunch rush.

Nate Arkush

“A kiosk is going to be opening for lunch,” Arkush said. “We’re going to have grab-and-go bowls and it’s really going to be lunch-focused, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each day.”

Arkush said the new location will experiment with evening and weekend hours as well. The space, roughly 500 square feet, will accommodate nine bar stools. He expects most customers to order carryout meals for lunch. The kiosk will carry pre-made bowls for customers, who can choose to order BYOB (Build Your Own Bowl) options as well. The menu offers tuna, salmon, shrimp or chicken, with house made sauces influenced by Hawaiian and Japanese cuisine. Arkush described Poké bowls as “deconstructed sushi.”

FreshFin Poké

FreshFin Poké

FreshFin Poké describes itself as the first of its kind in the city of Milwaukee. Arkush hopes to build on this year’s momentum.

“We’ve definitely gotten much more traction than I expected,” Arkush said. “Now that we know that people are really enjoying our food, the value we offer, the service, the experience, the atmosphere, we feel like we have a template to hopefully open more of these up in the area.”

FreshFin Poké

In the meantime, Arkush said the North Avenue restaurant is looking to expand partnerships with other local businesses.

“We’re about to start working with the Victory Garden Initiative (on North Farwell Avenue), which is an urban farm in the community,” Arkush said. “We’re going to be buying some produce from them. We’re really looking to grow with them as they grow.”

FreshFin Poké

Arkush said FreshFin Poké is also about to partner with Blooming Lotus Bakery on E. North Avenue, which is vegan and gluten-free. FreshFine Poké currently carries Milwaukee-based Rishi Tea, and will soon offer cold brew tea from Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co. as well.

FOX6 recently visited FreshFin Poké on North Avenue. To see FOX6 Reporter Evan Peterson’s interview, click here.