The poke boom is continuing to grow in Chicago, as one of the top local chains is announcing two new locations. FireFin Poke Shop, which debuted at 10 S. LaSalle St. in the Loop in June 2016, will grow to five locations when it opens new shops in Wicker Park and in Lakeview/Boystown. The burgeoning chain is taking over the Chicago Cupcake space at 1415 N. Milwaukee Ave. and part of the former Spin nightclub and Manhole space on the prominent Halsted and Belmont corner, 3200 N. Halsted St., according to representatives. Both new spots, which will serve the same menu as the original and seat around 40 people, are slated to open this spring.
FireFin, which is owned by the guys behind the Furious Spoon ramen restaurants, is also backed by a prominent chef, Rodelio Aglibot, who brings cache to FireFin’s poke operation and signature bowls to its menus that cost between $9 and $16. The growing chain most-recently announced new locations at 174 N. Franklin St. in the Loop and inside Ogilvie Transportation Center in the West Loop.
The announcement comes as the poke trend, which focuses on the tasty, trendy and healthy Hawaiian-inspired customizable raw fish and rice bowls, shows no signs of slowing down in Chicago and around the country. Locally, the boom was mainly started by Aloha Poke Co., which began with a line-inducing stall in the Chicago French Market in March 2016 before expanding to Lakeview, Revival Food Hall in the Loop, and an imminently-opening Evanston spot. Aloha’s Lakeview location is mere doors down from the upcoming FireFin shop, which makes for some intriguing competition.
Check out Eater Chicago’s poke map from last year for some other spots to try the customizable raw fish bowls. And prepare for much more poke to hit Chicago soon.