Just in time for health-inspired New Years’ resolutions, Hawaiian-style poke restaurant Island Fin Poké Co. is opening its first 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 January 18 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. The grand opening date falls on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and as an African American entrepreneur she wants to encourage others to volunteer to serve their communities. To promote the mindset that MLK Day is “a day on, not a day off,” Island Fin Poké Falls Church will donate 20 percent of the proceeds from MLK Day 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,” says 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,” adds 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.”