A chain of smoothie shops with a high concentration of locations in New Jersey and a handful more scattered up and down the East Coast will extend its reach to Massachusetts for the first time next year. Playa Bowls — which employs the PG-13 motto “go bowls deep,” stylized in hashtag form — will open at 2199 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, near Boston College, serving a wide array of brightly colored smoothie bowls, juices, and more.
As the name implies, tropical smoothie bowls headline the menu at Playa Bowls: There are pitaya bowls, acai bowls, banana bowls, chia pudding bowls, coconut bowls, oatmeal bowls, and green bowls, each with its namesake as the main base and assorted other fruits blended in, plus toppings like cut fruit, nut butters, chia seeds, nuts, cacao, granola, and more.
Playa Bowls gets its acai from Brazil and blends it in-house to maximize pulp and minimize sugar, according to the managing partner of the forthcoming Boston location, Hung Lam. For those less inclined to eat blended fruit out of bowls, there are standard smoothies as well, available in 16- or 20-ounce sizes, plus juice blends.
Lam is opening the Boston shop with fellow franchisees Sarosh and Dana Nentin, David Swanson, and John Castiglione, all friends from Boston College.
Playa Bowls was founded in Belmar, New Jersey, in 2014. The business initially started as a cart selling bananas and acai bowls, but now it has more than 60 brick-and-mortar locations. According to Lam, the chain will surpass 150 locations by the end of 2019.
“My goal has always been to bring a healthy food option to my fellow Bostonians,” Lam said. He had tasted acai and pitaya bowls while traveling and said he wanted to offer something “refreshing, delicious, and healthy” to the people of Boston.
Lam and his team have started construction at Playa Bowls and expect to open in early 2019, and people can follow the shop’s progress on Instagram. When it opens, Playa Bowls will add to the ever-growing collection of smoothie and juice shops in Boston, including Carrot Flower, Cocobeet, Pressed, Jugos, and more.