Update: Hai Poke launches brick and mortar crowdfunding campaign

Beth Stallings, Columbus Crave

It looks like tuna poke may find a home in landlocked Columbus.

Hai Poke, the new concept byNile Woodson and business partnerMico Cordero, plans to open abrick and mortar eatery with the help of a crowdfunding campaign that launched this week. After 24 hours, the campaign has raised more than $4,000.The partners have been testing the Hai Poke concept during a four-week takeover at Oddfellows Liquor Bar, which ends this Friday.

Read our original report below.


On a family vacation in Hawaii at the age of 10, Nile Woodson ate one dish he says would change his life: poke. "It was the first food I knew I could eat every day," says Woodson, who's been obsessed with creating the Hawaiian-style tuna tartar ever since.

He now has plans to bring his love of poke to Columbus via a concept he's calling Hai Poke. On Friday, Aug. 14, Woodson and his business partner Mico Cordero will launch a series of kitchen takeovers at Oddfellows Liquor Bar in the Short North. The pop-up will run from 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday through Sept. 4.

They will start with a traditional poke bowl, but hope to add fish choices and other island-inspired snacks as the takeover progresses. Cordero says the plan is to include Filipino street fare-an ode to his Filipino upbringing, and the recipes of his grandmother, including dumplings and lumpia (Filipino-style egg rolls). Sushi-grade fish will be sourced from True World Foods, the same wholesale purveyor used by Tensuke Market off Old Henderson Road-a local favorite for fresh sushi.

Hai Poke's opening menu will feature $10 bowls with yellowfin tuna, a "secret" soy-based sauce, scallions, sesame seeds, seaweed, sticky sushi rice and pickled cucumber garnish. Additions include: spicy bean sprouts (50-cents), avocado ($1), white onion (25-cents), jalapeno (25-cents) and crispy wonton (50-cents).

Photo courtesy Hai Poke