One Indiana poke restaurant has announced plans to close its restaurant at its current location and merge with a nearby Mongolian BBQ.

Origins of the Poke Bowl

While some may consider a poke bowl to be like eating sushi without seaweed, you may not realize that the two dishes originate from two different cultures. Now, there is no shortage of places in and around Evansville, Indiana to enjoy sushi, a traditional Japanese dish, but there are not as many places where you can enjoy the experience of the traditional Hawaiian dish known as the poke bowl.

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

What Exactly Is Poke

Poke when pronounced properly should rhyme with "okay," according to the Hawaiian Ocean Project Website. They say the name of the dish, which dates back centuries to native Polynesians, means "to cut crosswise into pieces."

Poke (pronounced poh-kay, rhymes with okay) literally means "to cut crosswise into pieces." It's a simple dish made of chopped seafood, generally tuna, marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil, and mixed with onion. But, you'll find many variations of this when you visit poke shops and grocery stores around Hawai'i. Octopus (tako) and mussels are two common options, and spicing it up with wasabi and/or kimchee are also popular variations.

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The Poke Pirate

The Poke Pirate in Evansville has announced plans to close its current brick and mortar location at 315 East Diamond Avenue. In a post on Facebook, the restaurant says they will be closing up shop but plans are underway to make the move across town to share a location with another restaurant - Big Bang Mongolian Grill located at 2013 North Green River Road. It is here that the two restaurants will merge and make some additions to their combined menus. According to the post,

Big Bang will remain the same, but we will have a menu available to order from as well! Poke bowls, Authentic Japanese ramens, Nori tacos, and more appetizers are some of the new things we will have to offer!

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Timeline for the Move


Big Bang will close for a few weeks beginning January 23rd to begin work on a kitchen remodel. The project is expected to take two to three weeks. Poke Pirate will remain open on Diamond Avenue through January 29th. There is no word yet on a reopening date, but diners are encouraged to keep an eye on the Big Bang Facebook page for updates.

Restaurants We Want to See in Evansville in 2023

We asked you on social media, and these are 20 of the top restaurants that you would like to see come to Evansville in 2023. It might be wishful thinking, or we could be putting it into existence. Only time will tell!

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