Locally-owned business serving traditional poke brings a taste of Hawaii to Northern Virginia
Falls Church, VA (RestaurantNews.com) Hawaiian-style poke (pronounced “poh-kay”) restaurant Island Fin Poké Co. is opening its first Virginia restaurant in Tysons Corner. The franchise, which serves traditional poke in the form of build-your-own, customizable bowls, is strengthening its presence in the D.C. area following the opening of a location in Bowie, MD last year. The Falls Church location is slated to open on February 1 at the Idylwood Shopping Center at 7501 Leesburg Pike, Suite 129.
The restaurant will be owned and operated by Bonita Bell, who is excited to offer job opportunities and a health-conscious concept to the community during these turbulent times. To kick off its grand opening, Island Fin Poké Falls Church will donate 20% of the proceeds from its first day of sales to Food for Others, Inc., which distributes free food to NoVa residents in need and whose services are primarily provided by volunteers.
“We are delighted and grateful to open up this business at this time in our vibrant community,” said Bell. “The past year has hit many people hard. With so many jobs lost from restaurant closings, we are happy to provide job opportunities and to partner with Food for Others to support those who are struggling in our community. The continuing restrictions due to the pandemic will present challenges, but we are now more excited than ever to start the new year promoting positivity and healthy lifestyles.”
The restaurant provides guests with farm-to-fork, locally and responsibly sourced ingredients where each guest creates their own perfect poke bowl. With eight proteins, over 25 toppings, house-made sauces and specialty mix-ins, the endless possibilities allow guests to get creative and try something new every visit.
Bonita and her husband, Howard, have committed to opening two Island Fin Poké restaurants locally. While their top priority is opening up in Falls Church, the couple is also eyeing Vienna for their second restaurant, targeted to open in 2022.
Island Fin Poké has 11 operating locations across the country. Like the overall restaurant industry, the pandemic has posed challenges, but the brand remains poised for continued growth. The brand’s business model gives restaurants the ability to pivot quickly to remain up-to-date on local guidelines to ensure the safety of staff and guests.
“The DMV area is somewhere we are really excited to grow in,” said Mark Setterington, co-founder of the Island Fin Poké franchise. Setterington launched the brand’s first restaurant in Orlando after working in the industry for 36 years and overseeing ten restaurants throughout Las Vegas and Los Angeles. “Bonita is the perfect addition to our ohana as she reflects our mission to bring guests high-quality poke in an immersive and welcoming environment. For us, ohana is a way of life, and we want every guest that walks through our doors to know they are a part of the family.”
Island Fin Poké
Founded in 2017 and franchising since 2018, Island Fin Poke is a Florida-based fast-casual chain that serves Hawaiian-style poke bowls in a comfortable laid back beach shack environment. Today, there are eleven locations in Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Virginia, with numerous others in various stages of development across the country. For more information, visit www.islandfinpoke.com.
Food for Others, Inc.
Food for Others, Inc. is a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing a safety net for those needing food when an emergency strikes, and for the growing number of working poor in Northern Virginia who are unable to make ends meet and need to supplement their inadequate food supplies. Their mission is to distribute free food to neighbors in need and to provide opportunities for people to volunteer. For more information, visit www.foodforothers.org.
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