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New restaurant offers poke bowls and more
Terracotta Pub
Anthony Chan, Nick Chan and Carol Li are opening their family business, Terracotta Pub, this week (ANGELINA MARTIN/The Journal).

Name of business: Terracotta Pub

Type of business: Restaurant

Location: 3831 Crowell Rd., Turlock

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Sunday

Contact information: 209-250-1331

Specialty: Mexican cuisine and poke bowls


History of business:

College students have a variety of cuisine to choose from right across the street from Stanislaus State along Crowell Road, from Vietnamese pho to authentic Italian pizza. With the opening of Terracotta Pub this week, diners who enjoy diversity in their meals can also choose from Mexican and Hawaiian food — both in the same location.

Turlock native Nick Chan decided to return home after graduating from California State University, Chico, to open a restaurant with his parents, Carol Li and Anthony Chan. While away at college he developed a taste for poke bowls and noticed they were incredibly popular with other students as well. This discovery of the trendy food and its popularity, coupled with his love for Mexican food, inspired him to create Terracotta Pub’s unique fusion of two completely different cultures, he said.

“Everyone loved poke in Chico, so hopefully it will have the same hype here,” Chan said. “I wanted to bring a different taste and a different kind of food to plates here that they’re missing out on.”

In Hawaiian, poke means “to slice or cut.” The term refers to chunks of raw, marinated fish — typically tuna — which is then served over rice, topped with vegetables or fruit then drizzled in sauce. Terracotta Pub, which opens Wednesday, will allow customers to build their own poke bowls and choose from a variety of proteins, like salmon, yellow tail and shrimp, in addition to the usual tuna. Sides like pineapple, avocado and more are also available, and diners can complete their bowls with mild or spicy sauces and countless toppings, including jalapeño, crispy onions, edamame and more.

“If you don’t like raw fish, you can even change it to something cooked,” Chan said.

Chan’s plan is to utilize the grill at the location, which formerly housed back-to-back burger establishments, to also provide Mexican food like tacos, burritos and other classics to customers. The new restaurant will provide a combination of plates and, hopefully, an endless source of entertainment for college students and community members alike thanks to its three televisions and beer offerings.

“We want to be a destination for people, where they can come watch sports, have a beer and eat something new,” Chan said.

Though Chan majored in Computer Science during his time at Chico State, he knew he wanted to do something back home that would give back to the community, he said. As the nearest place to grab a poke bowl for Turlockers is Modesto, he knew now was the perfect time — especially given the recent economic development in the city.

“I’ve always loved eating, and I thought it would be cool to bring something like this back to Turlock,” Chan said. “They just opened the bowling alley in town, so we saw a lot of growth and potential. Hopefully we can jump in on it.”