June 11, 2018 By Tara Law
An acai bowl and smoothie chain plans to open a new location on Ditmars Boulevard in July.
Long-Island based company SoBol will offer the Brazilian fruit dishes that have become popular with Millennials— acai bowls and pitaya bowls— at a grab-and-go style eatery at 35-04 Ditmars Blvd. The storefront is the former location of Shanaz Variety Discount.
SoBol’s signature acai bowl contains acai purée and banana, strawberry, blueberry, coconut topped with a drizzle of honey. Pitaya bowls feature a dragon fruit purée base and granola.
The bowls are popular as a breakfast, dessert or snack, and are made-to-order. SoBol bowls can be customized with various toppings, including mango, peanut butter and chia seeds.
SoBol has grown rapidly since it was founded in 2014, riding the wave of acai trendiness. The company has opened 20 locations in New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut in the last four years, and plans are underway to open 20 more. The Ditmars location will be SoBol’s first in Queens.
Like all but two of SoBol’s locations, the Ditmars shop will be a franchise. The location will be operated by Long Beach resident Mark Keegan.
SoBol spokesperson Nick Pesko said that the secret to SoBol’s fast expansion is that it appeals to the younger generation’s desire to consume healthier eating options and “superfoods”— fruits and vegetables that are nutritionally dense and are believed to offer health benefits— such as dragon fruit and acai.
SoBol has been eyeing Astoria for a while, said Pesko, because the neighborhood is filled with “young, energetic, business-savvy” people who are making the area a “popular and fun place to be.”
SoBol also boasts a quick prep time and a commitment to freshness, said Pesko. SoBol’s offerings are prepared in about four minutes, and all of the company’s fruits and blends are prepared daily.
“Nothing is pre-made,” said Pesko. “The fruit is cut fresh in the morning, and all the blends are made in the morning.”
The shop will offer about 10 to 20 raised seats, said Pesko. It will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.