A popular taste of Hawaii has come to the Red Rock Country.
Sedona resident Ryan Nichols opened Sedona Poke Company earlier this month.
“I spent most of my childhood in Hawaii so I was eating Poke all the time,” explained Nichols.
Recently, the Sedona Red Rock High School graduate said he noticed all these Poke restaurants opening up in Scottsdale and Phoenix.
So he and his cousin Gregory Nichols started visiting Poke restaurants to come up with the best concept they could for a Poke restaurant in Sedona.
Poke “is a traditional Hawaiian dish,” explained Nichols. Its raw ahi (tuna) mixed with sesame seeds, soy sauce, several types of seaweed, sesame oil and a little bit of honey.”
There are different types of Poke and Nichols is offering them in his new restaurant.
His restaurant is one-of-a-kind, Nichols said. He came up with the business plan himself using the best of all the restaurants he has researched.
It’s kind of a sushi bar meets a Chipotle.
There is raw fish, there is the kiosk-line and the bins of endless choices to go into your Poke bowl.
Customers first walk into the restaurant and are met with a computer kiosk with their order choices.
“Tap to get started.”
Different bowls appear for a customer to create and then order. Once customers choose their base of rice, mixed greens or seaweed wrap, the kiosk pages leads them through choices of Poke proteins (marinated ahi, raw ahi, raw salmon, tofu, chicken breast) and then toppings, sauces and then dry toppings.
All these are added to a cart with a drink choice and bowls are constructed by a restaurant employee behind the counter in a Chipotle-restaurant style of service.
“This is one-of-a kind,” Nichols said. Many Poke restaurants have this general set-up, but Nichols said he designed this layout just for his first restaurant in Sedona. “I did it from scratch.”
“Let’s bring something different, something good, something quick,” he said. There’s not a lot of options in Sedona for quick, quality take-out.
The food is all fresh, the fish is wild ahi through Santa Monica Sea Food. There’s a huge list of items that can be added to the bowls listed on Sedonapokeco.com that people can look up.
Before Poke, Nichols was running a computer repair business, the PC Fixers, which he had someone else take over.
Nichols said he is now concentrating on Poke and his four employees.
The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. They are still coming up with exact hours for weekend closing, he said.
“We do want to cater to a later crowd. There’s nothing open around here. At 9 o’clock all the restaurants are closed,” he added.
“Sedona doesn’t have anything like this,” explained Nichols. Dining is casual and the restaurant is a convenient store-front in the Harkins Theater parking lot.
Sedona Poke Company is located at 2081 W SR 89A Suite 6, Sedona, AZ 86336. Call 928-862-4197or visit http://sedonapokeco.com