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Karen Akunowicz Will Open a Poke Restaurant Inside a West End Grocery Store

Slopoke opens May 11 at Whole Foods in the Charles River Plaza

Poke from Karen Akunowicz’s forthcoming Slopoke
Poke from Karen Akunowicz’s forthcoming Slopoke
Whole Foods Market [Official Photo]

Three months into running her first solo restaurant, Fox & the Knife, James Beard award-winning chef Karen Akunowicz will add to her footprint in Boston with a poke restaurant inside Whole Foods Market in the Charles River Plaza (181 Cambridge St., Boston), near Mass General Hospital.

Slopoke (stylized as SloPoke) will open on May 11, and the menu pulls from Akunowicz’s time at Myers + Chang in the South End, where she served a poke dish that remains on the menu. Slopoke will feature quick-service poke bowls served with white or brown rice, quinoa, or mixed greens.

There will be a handful of pre-set bowls, plus customizable options and pre-made grab-and-go items. The pre-set menu items include a yellowfin tuna bowl with radish, wheat berries, and chili ponzu; Faroe Island salmon poke with edamame, tobiko, sesame seeds, mango salsa, and yuzu vinaigrette; and a sweet potato poke with chickpeas, kale, puffed rice, and a sweet chili ginger vinaigrette. Other options will include shrimp, tofu, sweet onions, eggs, cucumber, and nori, and sauces will be made in-house.

“Prior to opening Fox & the Knife, I cooked with Asian ingredients at Myers + Chang for seven years, experimenting with bold flavors — including my poke, which was a signature item on the menu,” Akunowicz said in a release.

Akunowicz is opening Slopoke in concert with the Friends of Whole Foods Market program, which partners with chefs and hospitality ventures to operate independent retail operations within stores. Slopoke will join Boston’s fast-casual poke lineup, operating near New Sushi on Cambridge Street and near the forthcoming Love Art Poke.

Update, May 10, 2019: This piece has been updated to reflect the new opening date of May 11, not May 10 as originally planned.

Slopoke [Instagram]