Words & Deeds

How big a splash did this new Boise restaurant make? A second one is already opening

Things have gone swimmingly for Paddles Up Poke since the rafting-themed restaurant opened seven months ago at 237 N. Ninth St.

“We’ve been killin’ it,” owner Dan Landucci says. “We’re 60, 70 percent over projections.”

It has done so well that a second Boise location is around the bend. Paddles Up Poke will take its raw fish concept to MacMillan’s Corner, a strip mall at Eagle and MacMillan Road, in March 2018.

The new restaurant will be nestled in a vacant space between Jamba Juice and Taco Del Mar at 13601 W. McMillan Road.

A Hawaiian tradition, poke (pronounced “POH-kay”) is a nationwide trend. Around the same time Paddles Up opened in Boise, Poke Bowl debuted in Meridian.

The Paddles Up model — counter-service orders of fresh, customized bowls and wraps — has been popular with Boiseans who work Downtown, Landucci says. But he’s looking forward to adding flavor to a different part of the city, he adds.

Being near the corner of Eagle and MacMillan brings lots of potential.

“You’re kind of in some of the highest-income people in Idaho,” Landucci says. “You’ve got tons of rooftops, you’ve got tons of schools, great businesses like Bodybuilding.com and HP (Hewlett-Packard).”

“My first job in college, I worked at the Starbucks on Eagle and MacMillan,” he says. “So it’s kind of cool to be circling back.”

Growth was part of the original Paddles Up business plan. Landucci hopes to expand to other parts of Idaho in 2018.

If customer response so far is any indication, opening additional restaurants won’t feel like paddling upstream.

“We’re just staying true to all of our food quality standards,” Landucci says, “and people are catching on and loving poke and loving what we’re doing.”

▪ Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. Online: paddlesuppoke.com, facebook.com/paddlesuppoke.

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