Downtown Lockhart gets Hawaiian Poke kitchen


Lockhart’s neighborhood wine shop, Best Little Wine & Books, is stirring up excitement in downtown as it announces a partnership with Florida-based “Poke In The Rear,” a Hawaiian-style poke kitchen located in the 100-square-foot rear of the shop.

“Poke In The Rear is always a must-stop when we visit Key West,” said Kaye Askins, Owner at Best Little Wine & Books.

“Our guests have been patiently waiting for us to introduce a food menu that fills a void in town and goes great with wine, so this was the perfect option.,” Askins said. “We’re very fortunate their team has the same experience and vision operating at a high level in a tiny space.”

Little Trouble Executive Chef Chef Casey Wilcox, formerly of Justine’s and Uchi in Austin, will be co-operating the permanent pop-up kitchen with plans to host hand rolled sushi nights and elevated wine & sake pairing dinners with Askins.

Poke In The Rear will open with six specialty bowls on the menu, including Lockhart- influenced options like the “Texas King Poke Bowl” with Kreuz Market Brisket, Mango Habanero Sauce and the “Best Little Poke Bowl” with Yellowfin Tuna tossed in house-made Ponzu “Rear” Sauce that pairs best with Askins’s favorite wine, Lambrusco.

Poke In The Rear’s Grand Opening was Friday, Jan. 5, and will regularly be available during Best Little Wine & Books’s shop hours, starting from noon to 10 p.m. daily and with delivery through DoorDash. As a bonus, Best Little will also be introducing a new sake by-the-glass menu with 10-12 styles.

About Poke In The Rear: In 2020, Grant Portier opened the first Poke in the Rear to help his wife’s bar, 22&Co, reopen during the pandemic. They’ve been awarded with “Best Hidden Gem, Restaurant” and Runner Up “Best Restaurant” in Key West in 2022.

Portier attended Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and UNLV’s Hospitality Abroad studying at HIM Lausanne, Neuchâtel and Montreux. He was the General Production Manager at La Maree Smokehouse (his family’s business) overseeing the production of award-winning Smoked Seafood, Pates, Wild Game, Caviar and Foie Gras.

Portier’s partner, Paul Barcas has over 25 years of experience in some of the top restaurants in Key West, including Santiagos, Roof Top Cafe, and Hot Tin Roof at Ocean Key Resort. Barcas takes pride providing the freshest and most delicious seafood fit for every palate.


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