Tysons, VA

After a few months of delays, Island Fin Poké Co., a fast-casual beach shack serving up Hawaiian-style poké, is slated to open in Falls Church on Jan. 18 to coincide with Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The poké (pronounced “poh-kay”) restaurant at 7501 Leesburg Pike in Idylwood Plaza will be owned and operated by Bonita Bell and her husband Howard. Bell said in a press release that she is excited to offer jobs and a health-conscious concept to the community during these turbulent times.

“We are delighted and grateful to open up this business at this time in our vibrant community,” Bell said. “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 Idylwood Plaza location was set to open in the fall, but was delayed until this month. The owners did not return Tysons Reporter’s request for comment on the delay before publication.

The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. every day, according to the chain’s website.

The husband-wife duo have also committed to opening an Island Fin Poké location in Vienna, targeted to open in 2022.

Bell, an African American entrepreneur, said she wants to encourage others to serve their communities on MLK Day. To promote the mindset that the occasion is “a day on, not a day off,” her Falls Church restaurant will donate 20% of its opening day sales to the nonprofit Food for Others.

“The past year has hit many people hard,” she said. “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.”

Like the overall restaurant industry, the pandemic has posed challenges to Island Fin Poké, but the Florida-based fast-casual chain is poised to continue growing, co-founder Mark Setterington said in a statement.

The Falls Church location is Island Fin Poké’s first in Virginia, increasing the chain’s presence in the greater Washington, D.C., area after it opened an outpost in Bowie, Md., last year.

“The DMV area is somewhere we are really excited to grow in,” Setterington said.

He described Bonita  as “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.”

Photo courtesy Island Fin Poké Co. 

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