A new Asian restaurant is coming to downtown College Park next month.
The first Ten Asian Food Hall eatery is expected to open on Route 1 in the beginning or middle of March, manager John Huang said. The restaurant will sit between Ivy Noodles and Kung Fu Tea.
Lee Mark, Ten Asian Food Hall's owner, said Korean fried chicken and poke bowls will be the main menu items sold at the new restaurant. Chinese bubble tea and other Korean dishes will also be served, he said.
"We think the college students down here are going to like it," Huang said.
Korean fried chicken can be prepared in about 10 minutes, Huang said, while poke bowls take about five minutes to make. These short wait times will be good for college students in a rush on their lunch break, he said.
"In the lunch time," Huang said, "they can just come in and grab a bowl and go."
Poke — a Hawaiian dish traditionally consisting of chopped fish, rice, vegetables and sauce — is also a healthy option for a meal, Huang said, which college-aged students are often looking for.
There are not many other restaurants in College Park that serve Korean fried chicken or poke bowls, Huang said. Hibachi San, which also serves poke, opened in Stamp Student Union in October.
"There's a lot of different food in here," Huang said. "If you're hungry, just come in and try."
It will cost about $20 for 20 Korean fried chicken wings and about $10 for a poke bowl, Huang said, adding there will also likely be promotions for students when it opens. The restaurant will also have free Wi-Fi for those who want to stay inside to study while they eat or drink, he said.
Junior English major Jacob Fisher, who has never had poke before, said it sounded "exotic" and "different" but thought the concept was an odd fit for Route 1.
"On Route 1, I think you should have a lot of big-portion, cheap college foods," Fisher said.
Ten Asian Food Hall was originally intended to open in February, but the opening had to be delayed until March due to difficulties obtaining the required permits, Mark said.
Ten Asian Food Hall will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, Mark said. Located at 7313 Baltimore Ave, the restaurant will replace Kiyoko, the sushi restaurant that recently closed.
"I'm always excited when new businesses come in," College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn said. "Kiyoko was a particular favorite of mine — I'm going to miss their sushi."
Turnover rates for restaurants are typically very high, so the city is not concerned with restaurants closing and others opening in their places, Wojahn said.
Wojahn said it is good that the city is filling most of its commercial business properties. Businesses are now moving into spaces that had been vacant for years, like the Dunkin' Donuts coming to Terrapin Row and LaTAO opening under The Enclave, he said.
LaTAO, which Mark also owns, will be open in May or June, he said.
Juliette Ducasse, who likes sushi and enjoys the poke at Hibachi San, said she never dined at Kiyoko, so she doesn't mind Ten Asian Food Hall replacing it.
"It's nice because I live in Leonardtown," the sophomore communication major said. "I'll have something that's nearby."