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Fast-Casual Pokeworks’s Big D.C. Plans Include Seven New Locations

The first is scheduled to arrive downtown this fall

A Pokeworks poke bowl.
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Hawaiian-inspired chain Pokeworks is the latest poke player hoping to curb D.C.’s seemingly endless craving for raw fish bowls, with plans to flood the city with seven locations over the next several years.

Pokeworks’ newly announced multi-unit agreement calls for the first to open at 1110 Vermont Avenue NW some time in September.

The brand, founded in 2015 in Irvine, Calif., currently has one area location inside Annandale, Va.’s Asian food court The Block, serving poke bowls, burritos, and salads. Its build-your-own menu includes a mix of proteins, sauces, and toppings to choose from, along with one-off orders like kale noodle bowls.

Pokeworks, created by brothers Michael Wu and Peter Yang and college friends Kevin Hsu and Kasper Hsu, first popped up in Midtown Manhattan and has since expanded coast to coast.

D.C. has seen a surge of poke-themed arrivals as of late. California import Poke Bar just opened inside Merrifield’s Mosaic District complex and already has another location in mind for Rosslyn. Meanwhile, Union Station welcomed Chicago-based Aloha Poke Co. this spring and another is scheduled to land in Dupont Circle later this year.

Other recent additions include include Honeyfish Poke downtown, Poke Papa in Chinatown, and Lei’d in Tysons Corner.