A restaurant dedicated exclusively to poke is headed to D.C.
Honeyfish Poke, which has several shops in the greater Los Angeles area, is looking to open its first East Coast locations in the D.C. market. Co-owner Duke Park has enlisted real estate broker Alex Walker of Miller Walker Retail Real Estate to find several locations for the fast-casual restaurant. Their goal is to open the first by year's end, if possible.
Park decided on D.C. after falling in love with the area after a recent vacation here. His background is franchising, having opened 15 Pinkberry locations (including the first in the United States) before founding Honeyfish with partner Jimmy Hong, who hails from the wholesale fish business. They teamed up with a master sushi chef to develop the concept further. They also operate the Big Fish Poke chain.
Honeyfish's poke meals are customizable, with customers choosing from various fish and toppings to create their own raw fish bowls. "I think we're on the ground floor of something that's going to become a staple in the American diet," he said. "In a sense, it's almost quick-serve sushi. You can get a very healthy meal in a very short period of time."
Poke is a very trendy menu item in D.C., but the city lacks restaurants solely dedicated to the concept. It will soon get a local one, though, in Lei'd, which is being developed by the owners of Chasin' Tails in Virginia.
Walker says the company is looking for locations about 1,000 to 1,500 square feet in size, primarily in neighborhoods that have a lot of foot traffic during lunch and dinner hours every day of the week.