HENRICO, Va. — A California-based restaurant chain has rolled out its first East Coast digs in Short Pump, reports RichmondBizSense.com.
Hoke Poke, which serves customized bowls of chopped sushi mixed with rice and vegetables, opened last week at 11823 W. Broad St. in the Corner of Short Pump shopping center.
The brand was launched about two years ago in Los Angeles by founder Daniel Acuna and has since grown to three West Coast locations.
Behind the Short Pump venue is Garrett Ramsey, a Richmond native and UVA alum who last year struck an agreement to invest an undisclosed amount to expand Hoke Poke to several cities on the East Coast.
The venture is a career change for Ramsey, who worked as a talent agent for entertainment acts throughout greater Los Angeles before visiting a Hoke Poke location and becoming hooked.
“It was such a great concept and so incredibly fresh that I found myself eating there a lot, and bringing people to the restaurant to try it out,” he said.
He eventually developed a close relationship with Acuna, who was ready to expand the restaurant’s brand across the country.
Rather than focusing on major cities like Atlanta, Miami, Philadelphia, New York or Baltimore, where competition of poke concepts has grown fierce, Ramsey said he’s targeting mid-sized metros. He’s starting with Richmond, where it appears poke is beginning to catch on.
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