6 Aug 2018

Illinois restaurant chain claims ownership of 'Aloha' & 'Poke'

From , 3:03 pm on 6 August 2018
Aloha, written in the sand on beach, Hawaii

Aloha, written in the sand on beach, Hawaii Photo: Philip Waller Image Source, all rights reserved.

An Illinois based restaurant chain is being accused of appropriating Hawaiian culture and legally bullying businesses in the 50th state from using their own language.

Chicago's Aloha Poke Company has trademarked the two Hawaiian words together and has sent 'cease and desist' letters to Hawaiian restaurants using 'aloha' and 'poke' in their name.

Aloha is a term used in greeting or departure but has a deeper meaning of love and compassion.

Poke is Hawaii's state dish of cut cubes of raw cured fish as the main ingredient.

The chief executive of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement says the issue first came to their attention via social media as more businesses started receiving the letters.

Kuhio Lewis told Dominic Godfrey it's shocking but not uncommon.