Welcome “Oshi Poké Bowl and Sushi” As The Avenue’s Next Tenant!

Have you heard of poké? If you’ve been on social media within the past year, you’ve probably seen a few pictures of poké (pronounced POH-keh) bowls show up in your Instagram feed. But if not, you’re about to find out all about the latest culinary trend because it’s coming to Downtown Huntsville in November!

“In Japanese, ‘oshi’ (oishii) means great taste,” said Min Liu, main operator of Oshi Poké Bowl & Sushi‘s Huntsville location. “We have watched the trend spread from the west coast and beyond in the restaurant industry and we realized the concept works well. One of the best features of the poké bowl is that everything is customizable and countless combinations of flavors and textures can be experienced.”

Oshi will be open from 11 am – 9 pm, Monday through Sunday!

As the concept of poké spread, Min, Chef Jackie Chang, Tom Huang, and Paul Liu—the dream team behind Oshi—decided to expand their gastronomic horizons and offer the same high-quality ingredients they were accustomed to working with within a more casual dining atmosphere.

“Poké is a dish that originated in Hawaii and has grown in popularity because larger markets embraced the concept,” said Min. “The bowls typically include fresh seafood, vegetables, sauce, and seasoning. At Oshi, customers will be able to select their desired protein, veggies, and seasonings to create a one-of-a-kind meal.”

So whether you’re a tuna fan, love crab meat, or prefer mango and squid ink rice, Oshi will be able to cater to your needs. The selections are extensive and they are all sourced from the freshest sustainable sushi-grade fish.

Oshi plans to work with local Huntsville breweries to provide a craft beer selection. Wine and sake will also be available for purchase.

A 2,362 square foot space, Oshi will showcase recipes from Min’s uncle, award-winning Chef Jackie Chang. Jackie began his culinary career in 1992 and has since offered his skills to multiple high-profile restaurants, including Umi Sushi and O-Ku Sushi in Atlanta.

Originally from South Korea, Jackie moved from the island of Jeju to Atlanta, Georgia where he spent the next year learning English. He later perfected his skills in hibachi-style cooking and delivered meals that married great food with an exceptional culinary art form.

“My uncle Jackie is a genuinely nice guy with a lot of enthusiasm for what he’s accomplishing,” explained Min. “He began his career by taking over one of my mother’s restaurants and has used his incredible work ethic and showmanship to be picked up by some of the most renowned restaurants in the Atlanta area.”

Photo credit: Oshi Poke Bowl & Sushi

Tom Huang will also bring his experience and expertise to the table with his history in restaurant ownership and operation. As the Founder of the popular Chin Chin restaurants, he is well known throughout the restaurant community as an innovative game changer with more than 20 Chinese restaurant locations in the southeast area.

With the recipes from Jackie and the help from his associates, Oshi will offer high-end dining in a more relaxed setting.

“In fact, we plan to have the aesthetics of the space match the commitment we have to providing the freshest, high-grade food possible,” said Min.

The look and feel of Oshi will take on a “modern minimalist” design with mainly black and white décor, wood accents, hints of green, and clean, simple plants dispersed throughout. Min said the idea is to emphasize the simplicity and quality of the available fare.

Anusha Alapati, Crunkleton broker and leasing agent for The Avenue, was excited from the get-go at the prospect of bringing Oshi to life in Huntsville.

“When I discovered this group of restaurateurs in Atlanta, I knew immediately that Oshi’s healthier options and modern minimalist ambiance were something Huntsville would embrace,” said Anusha. “I think this is especially true in the downtown area where cuisine is increasing in diversity and quality.”

While Oshi will open its first Alabama-based restaurant at The Avenue, Min said they plan to open the restaurant’s first site in Alpharetta, Georgia by October. However, Huntsville has always been in the plan for the team due to its growth and overall enthusiasm for eclectic dining.

“We are thrilled to have Oshi Poké Bowl & Sushi open its first restaurant in the state of Alabama at The Avenue,” said Sasha Sealy, co-developer of The Avenue. “It is a great addition not only to our development but also to Downtown Huntsville. It’s a new dining option that mirrors what you would typically see in urban, mixed-use developments in larger cities like Atlanta, Nashville and Chicago.”

As for Min, he had one more thing to share.

“Huntsville is growing rapidly and it’s evident that this city appreciates great food,” said Min. “We plan to give our patrons the restaurant experience they deserve. For me, working in this business is a way of life. Eating is essential, but you can make it an experience—a memory. That’s what we want to do at Oshi. We want to make sure you can’t wait until your next visit.”

Visit https://www.facebook.com/OshiPokeAvenue/ to learn more. And stay tuned to our blog for updates about the opening of this new, exciting restaurant!

Have you tried a poké bowl before? Let us know in the comments below!

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

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Huntsville Restaurant Week Has Arrived—Time To Eat!

Welcome to Huntsville, Alabama—a city bursting at the seams with unique, diverse, and delicious restaurants. On any given day, it’s possible to experience cuisine from all over the world without ever leaving the Rocket City. If you’ve been looking for an excuse to head out and explore the local food scene, you’re in luck. The 6th annual Huntsville Restaurant Week is happening August 11th through the 20th!

A part of the statewide Alabama Restaurant Week, this culinary event puts a spotlight on Huntsville/Madison eateries by encouraging patrons to enjoy discounts, tastings, and special events all throughout the week at participating restaurants. An impressive 60 restaurants will offer deals this year, making it the largest (and most diverse) Restaurant Week in the city’s history.

And as an added bonus this year, local breweries will be offering specialty brews designed specifically for the event. It’s clear that in Huntsville, food is a big deal.

So get ready for a marathon week of enjoying some of the best cuisine the city has to offer!

What kind of deals can you get?

Great question. Participating restaurants have been asked to offer at least one of the specially priced menu options:

  • Lunch Specials – $10 or $15 featuring two courses
  • Dinner Specials – $10, $20, $30, and $40 with three courses
  • Bonus Bites – This category features establishments that do not offer lunch or dinner but will participate by giving discounts on desserts, appetizers, or smaller bites.

Click here to view the entire list of participants in the 2017 Huntsville Restaurant Week.

We had to try out a few for ourselves!

With all of this much-deserved hype, a few of us at Crunkleton set out to try some specials. (And we will be trying more as the week goes on.) What we discovered were some of the most mouth-watering dishes we’ve ever tasted.

Church Street Wine Shoppe

The deal – $15 Food and Wine pairing. Options include Guacamole & Belle Chevre Dip, Basil Pesto Flatbread, Barbecue Chicken Flatbread or Summer Salad. One of those items will be paired with a wine choice of Leap of Faith Corbieres or Mode de Vie.

We couldn’t help it—we ordered it all! It’s impossible to decide between Barbecue Chicken and Basil Pesto, after all. And the guacamole almost stole the show! With a generous helping of Belle Chevre atop, every bite was extra creamy and flavorful.

But the Summer Salad was nothing to be ignored. The fresh slices of watermelon and heirloom tomatoes were perfectly paired with the Mode de Vie. Speaking of wine, the selections were outstanding, as well.

The Mode de Vie White Blend is from the Languedoc region of France and is making its world debut at Church Street Wine Shop. At the moment, it’s an exclusive offering of the restaurant made by local Huntsvillian Bjoern Lanwer.

And let’s not forget the red wine, Leap of Faith. Another creation of Bjoern, this wine comes from the Corbieres region of France and is also making its world debut. Be sure to check out the artwork on the bottle. It was designed by Kevin LePrince who broke fundraising records at the Huntsville Museum of Art as their featured artist, selling over 20 paintings in one night.

Church Street Wine Shoppe is the perfect place to get something fresh and filling this week. And be sure to ask for the guacamole.

Mason Dixon Bakery and Bistro

The deal – $15 “Steve Martin” jerked chicken sandwich with grilled pineapple, lime aioli, and smoked jicama slaw. (For a vegan option, substitute jerked portabella in place of chicken) with a choice of side salad (house, Caesar or cucumber) and a choice of fresh baked cupcake.

Have you ever seen the Steve Martin movie “The Jerk”? Mason Dixon loved the 1979 classic so much that they named a sandwich after it. It IS jerked chicken, after all. Along with its clever name comes a bold, sweet, and savory taste.

It wasn’t difficult to devour the entire thing, and the pineapple and jicama slaw balanced out the flavors perfectly.

If you’re in need of a gluten free option this week, look no further. The team at Mason Dixon will make your wishes come true.

Honest Coffee Roasters

The deal – $10 ANY Acai Bowl paired with ANY Specialty drink

Honest Coffee Roasters has become a popular spot for hanging out, having business meetings, and catching up with friends. And it’s located in the heart of Downtown Huntsville. Yes, you can get some wonderful specialty coffee there, but locals are falling in love with their acai bowls too.

This week only, Honest Coffee will offer two items that are not normally found on the menu. Introducing the Sunset Spritzer and Midnight Maqui Bowl!

This sweet, salty, and very filling bowl is just what we needed on a busy Monday morning. The Midnight Maqui Bowl features dried cherries, pretzels, bananas, cherries, honey, salt, and maqui powder. Maqui is a super fruit that is growing in popularity and packed full of antioxidants.

And the Sunset Spritzer is the coffee shop’s version of a cherry soda—delightful!

There are also other specialty drinks to choose from including the Twickenham Tea Latte, Ninth Green, and Peach Please. Why not try them all?

Of course, this is only a VERY small sampling of what is available this week. (If we had time we’d definitely try them all!) We hope everyone has a chance this week to investigate the unbelievable culinary scene in Huntsville.

Oh, remember to take plenty of food pictures and tag them with #DineHSV. You just might win a prize!

 Is there a special you are excited to try or a restaurant we should go check out this week? We love suggestions. Let us know in the comments below!

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

Haru Korean & Sushi Opens in Madison, Alabama

Haru_Korean_Sushi_Madison

“Haru—it means ‘day-by-day’ in Korean, and ‘spring’ in Japanese,” said Ian Kim, co-owner of Madison, Alabama’s newest Korean & Sushi Restaurant, Haru. “I think the sound of the word is beautiful. That’s why we decided to use it for our restaurant.”

Located in the Spencer Square Shopping Center, visitors can now find the city’s newest Korean restaurant serving up everything from noodles and soups to sushi and spicy chicken.

Ian and his mother Koung Kim officially opened the restaurant on March 6th. “We can’t wait for everyone to come try us out,” said Ian. “We are proud of our menu because everything we’re serving is fresh, flavorful, and authentic.”

Haru_Korean_Sushi_Food

Steeped in tradition and experience, Koung Kim has been cooking Korean dishes for nearly 30 years and is bringing new ideas and passion to the customers at Haru. “My mother has been cooking Korean food for many years, and it shows,” said Ian. “She has always enjoyed it. Every morning, sometimes at 4 or 5 a.m., she wakes up ready to cook. It’s something she does very well.”

From the moment you enter Haru, it’s easy to see that the restaurant is a labor of love, evidenced by the fact that Ian went so far as to create specific pieces for the restaurant by hand. “I came up with the design myself,” said Ian. “I actually built the sushi bar. It took a lot of time, but it turned out very well.”

As the name suggests, hints of spring can be found throughout the restaurant. Bright blue hues, gold light fixtures, and a decorative mural make it a light and welcoming atmosphere.

Haru_Korean_Sushi

“We already know a lot of people in this area will love having a new Korean and sushi restaurant to visit,” said Ian.

Why is Ian so sure people will love Haru? Because this isn’t the first time the Huntsville and Madison area has been able to sink its teeth into the Kim family’s tasty cooking. For the past three years, Huntsville has been able to visit Haru at the family’s food truck. (You may know it as the “Yellow Bus”.) Ian and Koung see this new brick and mortar location as the next step in serving their community with quality Korean fare and sushi.

Never fear, though! According to Ian, patrons of Haru’s “Yellow Bus” will still be able to frequent the food truck. “We have turned over the food truck to my sister. We make the food for her and she runs it. People seem to love it.”

So what can you expect on your visit to Haru? “I assure you, my mom makes wonderful food,” said Ian. “Try it and you will 100% love it!”

Want to give Haru a try? You can find them in Spencer Square Shopping Center. Stay tuned to Crunkleton on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more updates on Haru.

Haru
8760 Madison Blvd
Madison, AL 35758

Make sure you’re staying on top of the latest trends, newest developments and hottest new stores in Huntsville by subscribing to our weekly blog updates!

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

Huntsville’s Popular Mason Dixon Bakery and Bistro Goes Regional!

mason_dixon_bakery_sandwich

Image courtesy of Mason Dixon Bakery & Bistro © Andrew Hall Photography

“When you become a customer, you become part of our family.” That’s the business philosophy of Ashley and Taylor Ramirez, owners and creative minds behind Huntsville’s popular Mason Dixon Bakery and Bistro. And very soon, the family will be growing. Mason Dixon will be adding a second location in the Homewood neighborhood of Birmingham!

“We are definitely excited for it,” said Ashley. “We were instantly drawn to the Homewood area, because it’s in a residential community much like the one here in Huntsville’s medical district. Maintaining a strong community involvement is something that we are very passionate about and plan on continuing with our Birmingham customers.”

Selecting the location for the expansion was done with close attention to the needs of its customers. “The mission of Mason Dixon has always been to bring convenience to allergen-friendly foods,” said Ashley. “Huntsville has fully embraced us, more than we ever imagined. But to continue our mission we need to expand. We recognized that we could fill a great need in Homewood, and it’s close enough for us to stay heavily involved with the business.”

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Edgewood Station, a redeveloped service station on Oxmoor Road, will be the home of Mason Dixon in Homewood. A bit larger than its Huntsville counterpart, the Birmingham restaurant will allow for additional seating and parking for its patrons. The store is tentatively scheduled to open at the end of July 2017.

“Homewood customers can expect a modern and industrial vibe at Edgewood Station,” said Ashley. “It’s a rustic repurposing style that we think fits perfectly with the direction our business is headed. The new space will feature stained concrete floors, and we are taking down walls to the cinder blocks. We know customers are going to love it.”

Mason Dixon’s gluten-free goodies are already popular in the Birmingham area. Ashley said that several of its customers at the Huntsville location drive from “The Magic City” just to get their hands on delicious cupcakes, bread and allergen-free fare. Their enthusiasm was one thing that led to the new location and upcoming offerings.

“We are always listening to our customers,” said Ashley. “Which is why we’ve decided to serve Saturday and Sunday brunch at our Homewood location.”

Image courtesy of Mason Dixon Bakery & Bistro © Andrew Hall Photography

Image courtesy of Mason Dixon Bakery & Bistro © Andrew Hall Photography

If that wasn’t enough good news, the restaurant will also be expanding its coffee menu at both locations through a partnership with Honest Coffee Roasters. (The coffee shop will be adding its newest location to Downtown Huntsville at The Garage at Clinton Row soon.) Coffee lovers can officially rejoice!

“This growth is very thrilling for us,” said Ashley. “It’s always scary when you step out and do something edgy, but we’ve discovered there is a great need for what we provide. People in the area do care about what they eat, and they are willing to try new things. I think this progressive mindset will follow us to our Birmingham location.”

Mason_Dixon_Bakery_and_Bistro_HuntsvilleThanks to passion and quality food, Mason Dixon has continued to evolve. Nestled on the corner of Bob Wallace Ave. and Whitesburg Dr. in Huntsville, its flagship store has welcomed customers since 2013 and created a place where people with food allergies and dietary restrictions can indulge worry free. Locals and visitors alike have come to recognize the bakery and bistro as a haven for delectable allergen-free goods.

As their story continues in Birmingham, Ashley has just one thing to say, “I encourage Homewood to put aside any preconceived notions about gluten-free food and give us a try! We think you will be pleasantly surprised.”

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Make sure you’re staying on top of the latest trends, newest developments and hottest new stores in Huntsville by subscribing to our weekly blog updates!

haley_clemons_signature
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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM