Your Local Walmart Could Be Getting A Poke Bar

Walmart may not be the first place you think of for a quick lunch, but the retail giant is hoping to change that. The big-box chain has already been getting buzz this year, thanks to its deli hot bar giving fast food a run for its money, but now it wants to grab the attention (and wallets) of poke bowl lovers, too.

Uncle Sharkii previously announced it had entered into a partnership with Walmart, but more details are now coming to light. In a Restaurant News press release, Sharkii revealed that it has signed a Master Lease Agreement with Walmart Inc. to begin opening Uncle Sharkii Poke Bowl restaurants in stores nationwide. With a plan in place to open 10 new locations in California between now and May 2024, CEO and Founder Fen Reyes feels that the first step has been reached in her dream "to bring the essence of the Sharkii Ohana to millions of families who shop at Walmart." 

While there are many popular poke chains to choose from, Uncle Sharkii prides itself on its affordable prices and also being one of the only national poke franchises with a co-founder, Raymond Reyes, who was born and raised in Hawaii and grew up eating poke.

Uncle Sharkii is planning to expand quickly

With over 13,000 followers on Instagram, Uncle Sharkii has plenty of fans. Its Honolulu location has four out of five stars from 98 reviewers on Yelp. While many commented that the service was slow, most seemed to appreciate the prices. "Awesome good value for a custom-made poke bowl in Waikiki," Donna L. writes. There are seven different poke bowls to choose from, ranging in price between $10.95 and $14.95 (price varies based on location). But is Uncle Sharkii more affordable than other poke restaurants? By comparison, a Spicy Tuna poke bowl from Pokeworks costs between $12.95 and $15.95, and a Poke Bros. Spicy Tuna poke bowl is $12.50, while a Spicy Tuna poke bowl at Uncle Sharkii is $11.95.

Since its collaboration with Walmart began, Uncle Sharkii has already opened its first in-store restaurant in Vacaville, California. October 7, In celebration of the event, customers were welcomed with BOGO poke bowls and BOGO boba drinks on October 8. The fast-food chain is currently only available in 13 locations across California, Hawaii, Texas, and Utah, and it announced earlier this month that it is opening a restaurant at the Universal CityWalk Hollywood.

Uncle Sharkii's webpage shows 13 more locations coming soon, with 12 of them being inside Walmart stores. With the news of the Master Lease Agreement, your local Walmart may be next.