To help our Highland businesses during these challenging times, the Highland District Council has created a “Business of the Month” program. Each month, we’ve profiled a different business. This month we are excited to feature Poké House and Tea Bar–a family-owned and run restaurant near the intersection of Randolph and Snelling that opened in 2019. Poké House and Tea Bar is our first and only neighborhood poké shop serving bowls of Hawaiian style sushi along with a vast variety of cold smoothies and fragrant teas. They’re also able to accommodate special requests.
For those who are not familiar, a poké bowl is a Hawaiian dish that is deeply rooted in Japanese cuisine. Poke means “cut into pieces” and refers to the slices or cubes of raw fish that are served in a bowl along with rice, dressing, vegetables and seasonings.
We recently spoke with owners Liming & April Qui, owners of Poké House and Tea Bar in St. Paul and an additional location in Plymouth. Liming & April are a young couple with one child who spend almost their entire day working hard at their restaurant locations. Liming used to be a sushi chef in Florida and worked in a number of restaurants along the East coast of the United States. He arrived here from China in 2012 to join his bride April who had already arrived from China in 1997 and was living here with her parents. They are brave cheery world travelers who got married in Australia.
COVID-19 has changed their business in both positive and negative ways. Luckily, they had set up their online web ordering just before the pandemic. Now over 60% of their business comes through the Internet. The downside, however, was they had to shut down their dine-in services and finding employees is still difficult.
Poké House and Tea Bar
1570 Randolph Ave. St. Paul, MN 55105
Order online at www.pokehousemn.com
Online ordering also available viadoordash.com, trycaviar.com, grubhub.com and seamless.com. Pick-up is available until 8:15pm and their estimated prep time is no less than 20 minutes. Credit cards and Apple Pay are accepted.