A Somerville restaurant known for its poke will close down at the end of this week after two years in business. Manoa Poke Shop first opened its doors at 300 Beacon St., just outside of Porter Square, in January 2017, following a few months of pop-ups around town. It was one of the first Boston-area restaurants to feature the Hawaiian dish, which is now quite prevalent around Boston (and beyond).
Founders James Acer and Josiah Bonsey built a team dedicated to sourcing local and sustainable seafood for Manoa’s poke bowls — as well as to embodying the community “aloha” spirit.
A message on the restaurant’s Instagram page signaled the closure.
“Thank you for letting us share our food and aloha with you,” the post read. “We cannot be more thankful for the love and support you all have given us these past three years. We’ve had the opportunity to get to know many of you and we’ve gained so much family in Boston since we opened. It has been a crazy amazing journey for us all, and we wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
In the end, the restaurant was financially unsustainable, with Bonsey telling Boston Magazine that it was “tough for us to consistently turn a profit while keeping our prices in the range where people wanted them to be.” He also noted that the location was difficult — the student population was only seasonal, and it was not a good spot for weekday lunch service.
The restaurant’s last day will be Saturday, January 26.