Ponko was founded by sisters Reiko Clark and Maggie Antoine, who opened the first Chamblee location in 2017 after previously operating now-shuttered Stone Mountain eatery Food Ease, where they first developed a following for their panko-crusted, sweet-soy-sauce-drizzled chicken tenders. A second franchise location opened in Midtown earlier this year, and another is slated to open in Marietta Square this fall. Locations are also planned for Decatur and Canton in the coming year.
In a 2018 review of Ponko, AJC food writer Wendell Brock wrote, "Paired with fries, slaw, rice, potato salad and other sides, most with a vaguely Asian accent, Ponko is a noteworthy alternative to Chick-fil-A or Zaxby's. The Ponko style can be experienced in a variety of iterations: chicken or tofu tenders; vegan, vegetarian or chicken cutlets; salads topped with any of the above; sandwiches."