Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 05:01 pm
A Milwaukee man with several years of experience managing high-end restaurants in Chicago is opening the city’s first poke restaurant on the prominent East Side corner of East North Avenue and North Oakland Avenue in November. Poke (po-kay) is a Hawaiian raw fish salad.
Nate Arkush, 34, has leased 1,200 square feet of space at 1806 E. North Ave., from Milwaukee developer Robert Joseph. The site was at one time occupied by the original Pizza Man restaurant. Joseph built a mixed-use development on the site that includes apartments and 6,000 square feet of commercial space following the 2010 fire that destroyed the original Pizza Man.
Arkush is planning to open FreshFin Poke in the space, which will feature signature bowls, ranging in price from $8 to $13, with the choice of tuna, salmon, shrimp, vegetables or tofu, plus the option of more than 20 add-in ingredients and sauces.
FreshFin will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily and until midnight on Friday and Saturday. Arkush plans on hiring about 10 people.
Arkush, who has a culinary degree from Austin Community College, will also design the menu and serve as head chef.
Arkush, who also holds a bachelor’s degree in hospitality administration and management and a MBA from DePaul University, has spent the past 10 years in management roles with Starwood Hotels & Resorts and managed Shula’s Steak House at the Sheraton Grand hotel in Chicago.
Arkush said he wanted to open a restaurant and decided on the concept after touring about a dozen poke restaurants on the West Coast and falling in love with the idea.