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Playa Bowls will open over the summer at 4034 Walnut St., the former site of Wishbone Chicken.

Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil

University City will soon welcome a new acai bowl and bubble tea store to its food scene. 

Playa Bowls, an acai bowl and smoothie chain, plans to open over the summer at 4034 Walnut St. – the former site of Wishbone Chicken, which closed in February. Gong Cha will open its third location in Philadelphia at The Radian apartment and retail complex at 3925 Walnut St.

A representative from Playa Bowls wrote in an email that the store is planning to open by the beginning of the summer. There is currently no information on when Gong Cha will open, but the website states that the store is ‘coming soon’.

Playa Bowls was founded in New Jersey in 2014, originally operating in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The chain now operates stores nationwide, and the University City location will be its fourth in Philadelphia. 

Gong Cha was founded in 2006 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. It currently operates over 1,800 locations worldwide across 20 countries.

College first year Aleksandra Gutsol said that she has enjoyed Playa Bowls since before college and is now excited to have it so close to campus.

“I’m very excited about it opening since the other nearest one is in Center City,” Gutsol said. “It feels like a semi-healthy option on campus.” 

Gutsol added that she plans to visit Playa Bowls with friends frequently once it opens in University City. 

Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil

Gong Cha will open its third location in Philadelphia at The Radian retail complex at 3925 Walnut St.

College junior Joseph Yoon said that he frequents Gong Cha at home and is glad to have another bubble tea option near campus, praising the chain for its consistency in quality compared to other options.

“I think it’s awesome because Gong Cha is one of my favorite bubble tea stores,” Yoon said. "I used to go there all the time."

The two new restaurants join a number of restaurants that have opened around Penn's campus in the past year, including Yifang Taiwan Fruit Tea, Delco Steaks, Five Guys, DIG, Raising Cane's, El Taco, and Amma’s South Indian Cuisine.