Poké Fresh Offers Fresh, Healthy Hawaiian and Japanese Options

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Photo courtesy of Kylie Bachuwa.

Poké Fresh is located on Grand River Ave.

The downtown dining scene is continuing to grow, with the latest opening of a new family-owned, fast-casual restaurant, Poké Fresh Restaurant. Co-founder and co-owner Kylie Bachuwa spoke to ELi about the new Hawaiian and Japanese food spot, which marks the third Poké Fresh location.

“Poké Fresh was established in 2018 when my dad, Chris Bachuwa, discovered poké while traveling out West,” Bachuwa said. “He has always been passionate about food, especially healthy food that makes you feel good. He was raised in an entrepreneurial family as his dad and uncles owned many grocery stores and convenience stores in the Detroit area.”

While Bachuwa was a senior at Western Michigan University, her dad brought her the idea of starting a family business together. Her excitement for the project led to the creation of a name, branding, menu, and the opening of the first location in Howell in 2018. Positive feedback led to a second opening in Livingston County, and lastly, a location which opened here in East Lansing on May 24, 2021.

“We love the East Lansing area and my brother Christopher attends MSU, so we began looking here and quickly found an open space that seemed perfect for us,” Bachuwa said. “This space was suitable for us because of the existing front-line area and kitchen space, which required little build-out. We also love the location and alleyway with outdoor seating. We did minimal surface construction, but put a lot of thought into how we wanted the space to feel. We incorporated a few bright colors from our branding with white and black to create a clean, open space.”

The 1,800-square-foot space serves up healthy Hawaiian and Japanese cuisine, with a menu focused on poké bowls. The Hawaiian word poké means to slice or cut, and bowls typically consist of  raw fish like tuna, tossed over rice, topped with vegetables and sauces.

Photo courtesy of Kylie Bachuwa.

“We offer raw, sushi-grade, tuna and salmon as well as cooked proteins: chicken, shrimp, tempura shrimp and a variety of tofu,” Bachuwa said. “We also have lots of toppings (fruits, veggies, and garnishes) and homemade sauces to choose from. We have tons of options to accommodate dietary restrictions including gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan. We also carry tempura shrimp udon soup, miso soup, fruit bubble tea, and Detroit City Soda. We will be adding sushi burritos, teriyaki bowls (hot bowls with chicken or beef), and milk tea in the fall.”

The restaurant is open for dine-in, contactless pickup through online ordering, and delivery through DoorDash and GrubHub. Although Covid-19 has been a serious concern for many restaurants, Bachuwa said “poké bowls are the perfect quick carryout meal so we were able to maintain a steady amount of take-out and delivery orders throughout the pandemic.”

Bowl sizes range from the mini ($8-9), regular ($11-13), and large ($13-14) and are completely customizable with toppings.

“We are really excited to bring poké to East Lansing and connect with members of the community,” Bachuwa said. “We are passionate about providing healthy, feel-good food that is customizable and still delicious.”

Poké Fresh is located at 551 E. Grand River Avenue and is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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