More poke on the way
Poki D.C., the Hawaiian-inspired restaurant chain that launched last year in Penn Quarter, is expanding throughout the D.C. area with three locations in Montgomery County. Much like Honeyfish Poke at Congressional Plaza (but spelled with an “i” instead of an “e”), Poki D.C. offers custom-made bowls of raw fish, rice and salad greens with various sauces and toppings. A Gaithersburg location at Rio Washingtonian Center will open in the next week or two. After that comes a Rockville location at The Spot, an all-Asian food hall under construction in the ground floor of The Metropolitan (click here for more on that). The third location will be at Georgetown Square Shopping Center off Democracy Boulevard, in the empty space next to Not Your Average Joe’s. Gary Ngo, co-owner of Poki D.C., says he hopes to open there by fall. For a peek at the menu, click here.
Another Baked Bear for MoCo
Last week we told you that The Baked Bear was looking to open a second location at Rio Washingtonian Center in Gaithersburg. This week it’s official: The bakery/ice cream shop is taking the former 16 Handles space between Muse Paintbar and Starbucks, where it’s expected to open later this year. The Baked Bear, a California chain known for its custom-made ice cream sandwiches, has been generating incredible lines at Pike & Rose every weekend since it opened May 19th. Click here for more in our June 1st issue.
MOM’s on the move
MOM’S Organic Market opened its doors last weekend at the new Upper Rock center on Shady Grove Road. This is the 19th and largest location for MOM’s — and the first to include an on-site bakery as well as the Naked Lunch organic restaurant. Upper Rock, across from Home Depot and Nordstrom Rack, is already home to CAVAand Firehouse Subs.
Dim sum on the Pike
Moving into the former Paladar space at North Bethesda Market on Rockville Pike: China Garden, a dim sum restaurant from the owners of Rockville’s Pandora Seafood House & Bar. “This group ran another China Garden in Arlington for many years, and now they’re relocating it here,” says broker Shang Wang, who handled the deal for JGB Companies. Known as a popular place for weddings and other large events, China Garden originally was supposed to move into the former REI space on Rockville Pike. That deal never materialized, but the Paladar space became available when the Latin restaurant closed its doors last winter. The new China Garden is expected to open by the end of this year.