One of Seattle’s most popular, unassuming poke spots is now expanding its imprint. After years of operating inside a small deli in Wallingford, 45th Stop N Shop & Poke Bar — which won a 2016 Reader’s Choice Eater Award for Best Poke Restaurant — has opened in South Lake Union, not far from the Whole Foods. On the menu will be the red snapper, salmon, and tuna bowls which made the Wallingford shop such a destination for poke fans around the city, while including an enticing new topping: edamame kimchi. The place also obtained a liquor license, so customers will soon be able to wash down their poke with sake, beer, and wine.
That in-house dining experience is new for 45th Stop N Shop’s brand. Rather than the grab-and-go vibe in that Wallingford market, there is more room to roam at the South Lake Union outpost, as owner John Chung told Seattle Met that the new spot is twice the size of original, with seating for around 37 people. (And, yes, the name remains the same, even though it’s tied to Wallingford’s 45th Street.)
Will those in the Amazon-worker-packed South Lake Union flock to the new place? Some of the draw for the original 45th Stop N Shop was its “hidden” aesthetic. However, now that the secret has long been out, and the poke competition in Seattle is as fierce as ever, expansion makes sense. Let’s just hope that the poke pockets make the trip.