Poke House lines up first regional site in Cambridge

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Poke House lines up first regional site in Cambridge

Related tags Poke House Casual dining Multi-site QSR R200 Cambridge

Poke bowl brand Poke House has chosen Cambridge as the location for its first outpost outside of the capital following a successful response to its Deliveroo Editions kitchen in the city.

The Italian-founded company will open the restaurant in the university town early next year.

“We will be the first poke brand to open a bricks and mortar site in Cambridge,” says Juan Mosqueda, UK operations director at Poke House.

“We’ve already had a Deliveroo Editions kitchen in the area and based on that we chose to open a permanent site and have more visibility there.”

Poke House was founded in November 2018 by Matteo Pichi and Vittoria Zanetti and opened in London in September last year having acquired the Ahi Poké brand.

It now operates seven sites in the capital, in Covent Garden, Canary Wharf, Bank, Notting Hill, Victoria, Spitalfields, and Fitzrovia. A further five, in Battersea Power Station, Borough Market, St. Paul’s, St John’s Wood and Mayfair, are expected to open in the coming months.

Poke House, which is Europe’s largest poke bowl brand with 100 restaurants worldwide, previously set out plans to open 65 sites within two years of entering the UK market, with the bulk of its estate expected to eventually be focused outside of London.

Mosqueda tells BigHospitality ​that the group hasn’t initially expanded as quickly as it wanted to, but that it is now ramping up its plans for growth with an aim to open between two and three sites a month in 2023.

“We currently have nine sites we’re working on at various stages of development,” he adds.

“Five of them are currently undergoing building work, with the rest at early stages of securing and signing the leases.”

Other areas of interest for Poke House outside of the capital include Kingston, Surry, which was previously expected to be the location of the group’s first regional opening. However, those plans are understood to have stalled after struggles to find a suitable site.

The group has previously said its ultimate aim is to have outposts within all major UK cities. Earlier this year it announced plans to launch an IPO in the UK as part of plans to expand nationwide.

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