Aloha Poke brings Hawaiian fare to Evanston

Syd Stone, Reporter

Aloha Poke Co. opened its doors Friday, bringing a taste of Hawaii to the former location of Jamba Juice, 630 Davis St.

The Evanston location of Aloha is the chain’s fourth spot in the Chicago area, and its first outside of the city. The other locations are in the Chicago French Market, Lakeview and inside Revival Food Hall.

Aloha founder and owner Zach Friedlander told The Daily last year that he began looking into an Evanston location in September and that his concept for the chain has only been around since March 2016. The restaurant’s menu centers on poke bowls, a Hawaiian raw fish salad.

Initially, the restaurant will be open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, but Friedlander said he may adjust the hours in the future.

“For the past year we’ve been in more high density, downtown Chicago locations, so it’s nice to extend ourselves to another neighborhood in a suburban market,” Friedlander said.

The official opening of the store was a success, he said, drawing a diverse group of customers that included students, professionals and some of his friends who live in the area.

Friedlander said he was surprised to hear that many customers already knew about his chain, especially because Aloha is the first Chicago-based restaurant dedicated to poke.

“I was blown away,” he said.

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