Poké was a meal not well-known outside of Hawaii until a few years ago, but today there are nearly 2,000 poké restaurants outside of Hawaii, with much of that growth coming in the last two years. Today, one of the newest chains battling for dominance in the booming segment is establishing a local presence in Orlando.

Island Fin Poké, a Florida-based fast-casual chain known for its Hawaiian-style poké bowls served in a comfortable laid back beach shack environment, is slated to open its doors in Lake Mary on March 24 at 3697 Lake Emma Rd. STE C3. Another location is set to open in Oviedo at 4250 Alafaya Trail Ste 124 in April.

This makes for four Island Fin Poké restaurants to be open in the Orlando area, with existing locations in both Winter Springs and Lake Nona already operating. Plans call for an additional two locations to open in the area later this year.

“We are extremely proud and excited to build Island Fin Poké’s presence in our home community,” says co-founder Mark Setterington. “Not only does our food live up to authentic and traditional Hawaiian standards, but our company culture reflects the value of Ohana. For us, ohana is a way of life, as our ohana expands, we’re looking for franchisees who embody these values.”

Founded in 2017 and franchising since 2018, Island Fin Poké follows the original essence of the Hawaiian-style poké dish: farm-to-fork, all locally and responsibly sourced. Guests can build their own bowls by choosing from eight proteins, over 25 toppings, house-made sauces and mix-ins. Starting with a base of white rice, brown rice or spring mix, diners can add proteins such as Ahi tuna, spicy tuna, shrimp and chicken. Toppings include mango, pickled ginger and crispy garlic, and there are a variety of mix-ins such as edamame, corn, sweet onions and jalapeno. Ponzu and shoyu are among the freshly made marinating sauces, and finishing sauces include avocado sauce and wasabi cream.

As seasons change, so does the menu. Customers can discover exciting flavors and new dishes destined to vary with what fresh and local sources bring to market. The majority of menu items are gluten-free, and there are vegetarian and vegan options.

“Poké has transformed from a food craze to a national staple. It has quite rapidly matured into a part of nearly every major American city’s local food scene,” adds Setterington. “While keeping it true to form, we’re excited to bring one of the best tastes of the islands to various markets across the country and ensure that each and every one of our guests will enjoy a dining experience like no other.”

The new location comes at a time when Island Fin Poké continues to rapidly expand its national footprint. Today, there are seven locations in Florida, Nevada, Maryland, and Massachusetts, as well as 17 units in various stages of development across seven states.

Emerging Concepts, Fast Casual, News