The brothers behind a Thai restaurant at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market are expanding to sell more bubble tea.
Blon Hang and Yang Hang, co-owners of Rak Thai and the chicken restaurant Juju Bird, both located inside the Downtown Market at 435 Ionia Ave. SW, said they will expand their footprint in the market.
The new space, located across from the current Rak Thai stall, will allow the restaurant to create more versions of what they say is “a perennial customer favorite”: bubble tea, also known as boba.
Boba is an iced tea beverage flavored with milk and sugar. Toppings, such as chewy tapioca pearls, or boba, are added to develop a range of flavors and varieties.
“Bubble tea is a love story between East and Western culture, and it’s become our best-selling item,” said Blon Hang. “We’re planning to use the new space to offer new options and give customers a unique experience.”
The space Rak Thai will expand into was previously occupied by Pulp & Stem, which consolidated its shop into the business’ Monroe Center location.
Rak Thai will begin construction on the new space Aug. 15 and expects to open this fall.
New boba options Rak Thai will offer post-expansion include a lemon tea, featuring lemonade added instead of milk, the option of crushed ice to create an artisan slushy, as well as more flavors and varieties of tapioca pearls.
The expanded space also will include bubble tea-themed merchandise.
Photo: Courtesy Downtown Market