Poke Papa will begin selling Hawaiian-style marinated fish bowls at its Foggy Bottom location this week. The chain’s second store (1919 Pennsylvania Avenue NW) hopes to capitalize on its proximity to two Metro stops, George Washington University, and the White House.
The new location will follow the same blueprint as the original Poke Papa in Chinatown, offering a lineup of signature bowls alongside customizable options that integrate Thai and Korean elements alongside traditional poke flavors.
Owner Kerry Chao tells Eater he had hoped to open last week on the day before Thanksgiving, but an expedited business permit didn’t come through. Chao was still awaiting the permit this morning, but he says he expects to receive it today and will begin welcoming customers as soon as he can. A grand opening is planned for Tuesday, November 27.
Chao’s first Poke Papa opened in April 2017. Chao, who formerly worked in commercial real estate, says he wants to expand cautiously. But he’s found enough success riding the fast-casual poke wave that he has a third store expected to open next year at the Montgomery Mall food court in Bethesda, Maryland. That location will be a nod to Chao’s roots; his parents operated independent Chinese American stalls at food courts when he was a kid in Columbia, Missouri.
Check out an inside look at the Foggy Bottom space in the photos below: