The National Chicago

Chicago Eater

Line-Inducing Aloha Poke Opening 3rd Location Inside Hot Loop Food Hall

Revival Food Hall knows how hot poke is right now, and that’s why they’re adding Aloha Poke Co. to their lineup. The upcoming food hall, on the first floor of The National — the refurbished office building at Clark and Adams— should open sometime in mid-August with a plethora of chef-driven lunch items for workers in The Loop. Antique Taco and Furious Spoon are among those that have already been revealed.

Aloha Poke owner Zach Friedlander said they’re working on new items for the morning hours, but his Revival location will be a similar set up from the original at Chicago’s French Market. He also has a free-standing location opening in July in Lakeview. Revival’s coffee bar, which will double during evenings serving alcohol, was a draw for Friedlander.

“It’s a very similar business model at a higher level,” he said. “The vendors are more hand selected, a little bit more curated, if you will.”

The Loop’s certainly ready for poke, as competitor FireFin Poké Shop, which opened earlier thismonth, has attracted long lunchtime lines with diners looking for a healthy alternative to typical fast food. The bowls —usually served with a combo of raw fish, veggies, rice and Southeast Asian-influenced sauces— continue to grow in popularity. Friedlander said he’s flattered and encouraged by the competition: “Every Coke has its Pepsi,” he said.

Friedlander wants to expand his hospitality group, named Pineapples and Dreams. Perhaps diners will see Aloha Poke pop-up at airports, stadiums and even other parts of the country, he said.

Poke is a big get for Revival, which is run by 16″ On Center, the restaurant group behind Dusek’s, Thalia Hall and Moneygun. They’re almost done with vendor announcements —a process that beganback in May. Expect the final vendor announcement to come next week. They’re trying to give workers and tourists alike a one-stop shop to explore a variety of trendy Chicago neighborhood food options. Will deep-dish pizza, hot dogs, jibaritos and Italian beef make their way inside in one form or the other?