Paddles Up Poke Expands to Sun Valley, Opens New Hotel Ketchum Location 

  • Courtesy Paddles Up Poke
The "paddles up" part of Paddles Up Poke's name is a reference to the moment in whitewater rafting when you raise your paddle out of the water, getting into what the restaurant calls "attack mode" to tackle the rapids ahead. It's an apt metaphor for how Paddles Up, a local chain serving build-your-own poke bowls, has forged onward in its expansion in the last two years, keeping up the relentless pace of opening a new location roughly every 10 months. 2019 will be no exception: On Thursday, Jan. 17, Paddles Up will open its first location in Sun Valley on the bottom floor of Hotel Ketchum.

"We've got a lot of healthy eaters out here," said Paddles Up owner Dan Landucci, speaking to BW from Ketchum, "and just that outdoor lifestyle, which is what we really try to push at Paddles Up as kind of our theme and our motto: being outside and exploring Idaho. All of our stores really push that with our customers, so actually having a store in an area where we can get out and explore Idaho to the fullest was important to us."

  • Courtesy Paddles Up Poke
Expanding to Sun Valley has been a significant investment. Landucci found an apartment in the area and plans to spend at least one week each month there. He also sent his cousin, Paddles Up Poke veteran Matt Dietz, up to manage the new store. The biggest challenge, though, has been ensuring regular deliveries of fresh fish to the new restaurant. In Boise, Paddles Up prides itself on having its fish delivered daily, keeping its freshness level among the highest in the state. Landucci was determined to maintain that standard at the Sun Valley outpost, even though it's a more difficult location for deliveries.

"They don't deliver out here as much as they do in Boise, so we're going to be having [fish] delivered through our distributors when they do it, which is four of the six days, and the other two days we'll be running it personally," Landucci said.

That means that twice a week, Paddles Up employees will make the drive from Boise to Ketchum to bring to deliver fresh fish for the new restaurant. 

In addition to freshness, Landucci also emphasized that Paddles Up will be a super-quick lunch option for people working in downtown Ketchum.

"Downtown [in Boise], we have lines out the door and it only takes under two minutes to get your food, even if you're at the line out the door," he said. "We keep it quick, and Sun Valley is going to be just as quick."

Landucci added that Paddles Up has plans to keep expanding, and he has its eye on cities both in the Treasure Valley and beyond. For now, though, a Paddles Up food truck, which will make appearances on the Boise State University campus and at festivals like Art in the Park and Hyde Park Street Fair, is next on the list.

"We have some big plans," said Landucci, "but we also want to do it smart and not grow too fast." 
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