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Atrium Cafe Opens in Virginia Square With Poke and Promise

Atrium Cafe (901 N. Nelson Street) has opened in Virginia Square, offering Asian-fusion cuisine, coffee, beer and wine.

Since opening last Monday (June 11), Atrium has serviced breakfast, lunch and dinner crowds with menu items that include egg salad sandwiches, smoothies, rice cups and milk tea.

Hawaiian poke features prominently in the cafe’s offerings, following a national food trend that has been slowly catching on in Arlington.

Atrium Cafe’s owner DJ Lee said he started serving poke bowls in the cafe’s D.C. locations about eight years ago after visiting a poke restaurant in Los Angeles with his family, though at first customers didn’t know what it was.

“I really loved it so I [said], ‘I can do it, something like this,'” Lee said. “People didn’t know about that kind of concept… but right now, they like sushi and all the things like that, so people change.”

This location is Atrium Cafe’s seventh and its first outside the District. Arlington’s Atrium Cafe occupies the space previously claimed by Jen’s Kitchen, which closed in late December.

On his way out, one customer noted that he had stopped going to Jen’s Kitchen because he was unhappy with their customer service, but has thus far been impressed by the service and food at Atrium Cafe.

“I try to make it the fastest [and] cleanest, and try to make it taste good too,” Lee said. “That’s my goal.”

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