A sleek new fresh catch diced raw fish establishment has opened at the 500 Pearl, taking the complex one step further towards becoming one of the most well rounded destinations in Downtown Buffalo. Fresh Catch Poke Co. is the second to open in WNY – the first opened in Williamsville to a rave reception, which prompted owner owner Mike Tobin to take a look at the city. During an opening reception Friday evening, Tobin told me that the downtown location differs from the original location in that it has a full bar with an emphasis on “mocktails”. He said that the concept “…should really set us apart,” and I believe that he’s right. I tried a couple of the “mocktails” and was completely smitten with the “Ging’ & Juice (carrot, celery, ginger, agave, citrus, turmeric). It was one of the most unusual drinks that I had ever tasted. In fact, when I first sipped it, I didn’t exactly like it, but by the fourth sip, I already knew that this was a sleight of hand slice of heaven.
The drink menu, designed by Tony Rials, is deliciously unique, partially because bartenders have access to so many ingredients that are readily available due to the poke concept. And speaking of the poke concept, I ran into a couple of my neighbors who told me that they regularly make Fresh Catch runs to Williamsville from the city to get their fix of poke at Tobin’s establishment. They were so psyched to see the concept open in Buffalo, closer to their home. They loved the elevated experience and were happy to being eating the wonderful medley of fresh veggies and diced raw fish – for them this was a dream come true.
The rest of the clientele also appeared to be thoroughly enjoying themselves at this new culinary playground at 500 Pearl. The place was hopping, Vinnie DeRosa was at the mic, DJ Sike was spinning, the bowls were brimming, and the bar and dining area were buzzing. The opening of Fresh Catch brings something very special to downtown Buffalo, especially in light of the closing of Seabar. This place certainly fills a gap in the seafood category.
If you pay a visit to 500 Pearl, don’t forget that there’s a parking ramp with 300 spaces. It would be great if Fresh Catch could work out an arrangement with Ellicott Development to redeem parking stubs, but that doesn’t appear to be the catch right now. Other than that, the place is off the hook.
Fresh Catch Poke, Co. and The Galley Lounge | 500 Pearl St., Buffalo | See bowls and sauces
To learn more about Fresh Catch, click here.
A+ in the sustainable department.
There is also an express counter that will eventually open (closer to the main lobby) that looks like a little grab and go fresh pressed juice/smoothie window (see below).