New Jersey chain Playa Bowls comes to Northeastern


Kelly Thomas

Northeastern Playa Bowls opened on Huntington Avenue on Dec. 14, 2019.

Alexis Santoro, news correspondent

Playa Bowls, a new eatery on Huntington Avenue, opened Dec. 14, and has quickly become a popular spot for students on campus. 

Playa Bowls is a New Jersey-based acai shop, specializing in smoothie bowls topped with granola and fruit, that has made its way up the coast. There are currently two locations in Boston. The first location opened in February on the campus of Boston College,and given its success, a group of BC alumni decided to open up a second location at Northeastern. 

Dana Nentin, a New Jersey native and one of the owners of the Northeastern location, said the group has plans to expand further in Boston on other college campuses. Nentin said  Northeastern’s location was ideal given its proximity to the main campus buildings. 

With  the success at BC, the group felt that Playa Bowls fit very well into the college lifestyle. “College kids are part of our primary customer base,” Nentin said. 

“I like the variety Playa Bowls offers, with multiple different types of bowls and smoothies. It is definitely the best acai place in the area,” said Maggie Dow, a first-year student in the Explore Program. 

Nentin said Boston was a test area for the franchise because of the cold weather in the city. Prior to these stores, the other  Playa Bowls locations were primarily in beach towns, with the original store being in Belmar, New Jersey. 

She also said that in Boston specifically, “there are a lot of people from the tri-state area,” which also makes the Huntington Avenue location ideal because many of the students were already familiar with the brand. 

Kathryn Jemas, a first-year health science major from New Jersey, was particularly excited about the opening of the store  because it “brings a piece of New Jersey to Boston.” 

The new campus business does not accept dining dollars, something that Jemas said is a concern for her.

This concern has been heard by the Playa Bowls owners. Nentin said the store has future plans of accepting dining dollars, and they are currently discussing the matter with Northeastern. 

Nentin explained that this location is already actively involved on campus and has a Dine and Donate program from 5 p.m. to closing time every Monday to Wednesday, which can be hosted by clubs and organizations on campus. During these events, the proceeds from the sales of the evening go to the club or organization hosting the event. 

Despite her concerns, Jemas said that she has already eaten there three times since being back from break and plans to keep going.