Another food option is open for business at Champaign’s rapidly expanding Carle at the Fields development.
King Kuma, a poké carryout joint, will open its doors on Monday, Oct. 21.
If the name sounds familiar, it’s probably because the restaurant is a spinout of one of the stalls at Broadway Food Hall in Urbana. It announced the plans for the new Champaign location back in February.
The concept is the same; patrons fill out a form so they can customize their own poké bowl. (Pronounced po-kay, the sushi-meets-salad-bar dish was popularized in Hawaii but originated in Polynesia; it has exploded in popularity in the last 3-4 years.)
Base protein options include tuna, salmon, tofu and crab; customers can then select vegetables, crunchy toppings, sauces and more. (Here is a review of the poké stand at Broadway Food Hall from a few years ago.)
Just like at Broadway Food Hall, King Kuma diners will order at the counter. There are no tables, but counter height seating is available. It will mainly serve carryout customers.
King Kuma is located at 3401 Fields South Drive, the same building as El Toro at the Fields, but it might not be that obvious to patrons. Its front door faces the Hampton Inn hotel. Upon visiting on Sunday, there was no signage to direct anyone there. It’s also next to Haven, a salon.
This is the second restaurant to open at the Fields that is in the complex’s retail and residential quadrant, although many others have been announced or are already under construction.
Future additions to Carle at the Fields include Destihl, which will relocate there; Hickory River, which will open a new location there; and Haymakers, the upscale gas station and convenience store which is currently under construction. McGuire Home Collection, which sells furniture, fixtures, and home decor accessories, will open there this winter.
There is another food option at the Fields, although many are unaware of it. Betsy’s Bistro is a cafeteria whose primary clientele who work within the Carle at the Fields complex.
Located in the Carle at The Fields Administration building, it is only open five days a week and primarily for breakfast and dinner. It serves such local delicacies as Sidney Dairy Barn ice cream and Ye Olde donuts, as well as homemade soups. It also builds well-priced family meal deals to take home for dinner.