A Brighton smoothie shop that’s a franchise of a chain born in New Jersey plans to open a second franchise in the Boston area this fall. Playa Bowls first debuted in the Boston area in February 2019, opening across the street from Boston College, and now it will add a location on Northeastern University’s campus, opening at 277 Huntington Ave., Boston, next to Starbucks.
Managing partner Hung Lam — together with friends and fellow Boston College alumni Sarosh and Dana Nentin, David Swanson, and John Castiglione — opened the original Boston franchise near BC and are now growing the brand’s reach of fruit and vegetable bowls into another student-filled part of town. (Playa Bowls currently has franchises in 11 states and Puerto Rico, with numerous locations near colleges.)
True to its name, Playa Bowls serves a menu in mostly bowl format: It sources acai from Brazil and blends it in-house for acai bowls, which make up an entire section of the menu. Additional bowl options have bases of pitaya, banana, chia pudding, coconut, oatmeal, and greens. Customers select toppings like cut fruit, nut butters, and granola. Playa Bowls also serves smoothies and juice blends. According to Lam, the Northeastern restaurant will have a similar menu to the one at the BC location.
The BC Playa Bowls maintains beachy vibes with vertical wood paneling lining the walls, live-edge wood tables, and light blue paint accents. The second restaurant — technically in the Fenway neighborhood near Northeastern — will likely mirror some of this design work. Previously a tanning salon, it will require extensive renovations, according to Lam.
“In this large space we will have a dining area as well as a chill zone with a fireplace and lots of seating,” Lam told Eater in an email. “This area will be available for students and patrons to relax, have a bowl, cool down or warm up and enjoy the playa life.”
Expect to see the new location open later this year.