Rak Thai to Expand for More Bubble Tea Options at Downtown Market

Posted on August 5, 2019 by Downtown Market

Blon and Yang Hang, brothers and owners of local Thai food favorite Rak Thai and chicken restaurant Juju Bird, announced today they will expand again inside the Grand Rapids Downtown Market with more room for bubble tea. Located across from the current Rak Thai stall, the new space will open this fall with more room to create additional versions of a perennial customer favorite, bubble tea, also known as boba.

“Bubble tea is a love story between East and Western culture, and it’s become our best-selling item,” said Blon Hang, owner. “We’re planning to use the new space to offer new options, and give customers a unique experience with new variations on what’s become a favorite menu item.”

Bubble tea is an up-and-coming star within the world of drinks in the US. It is an iced, tea beverage, flavored with milk and sugar. Toppings, such as chewy tapioca pearls (or boba) are added to develop a wide range of varieties and flavors.

Rak currently offers several variations of bubble tea, and with more square footage, it will dedicate more space to ingredients and creative flavor experiments. New options 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.

“Blon has had great success with creating and growing two businesses in the Market Hall, and we know this addition will give him the space to be even more creative,” said Mimi Fritz, Downtown Market president and CEO. “Bubble tea has become more mainstream in American culture and specifically in Grand Rapids, we’ve seen lots of interest in a standalone shop. Since Blon has been making it here since he opened, we knew he was the right person to expand and grow this segment.”

Rak Thai is expanding into the space previously occupied by Pulp & Stem, who consolidated their shop into their Monroe Center location. Rak Thai will begin construction on the space starting August 15, and expects to open this fall. The expanded space will also include bubble tea-themed merchandise.