UT alumni open bubble tea business Jan. 11 at Gateway | UToledo News

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UT alumni open bubble tea business Jan. 11 at Gateway

The University of Toledo alumni who are the co-founders of Balance Pan-Asian Grille are opening a new spinoff business at the Gateway that will tickle your tastebuds.

Bubble Tea will open its doors Monday, Jan. 11, at the Gateway on the corner of Dorr Street and Secor Road when students return from winter break.

UT graduates Prakash Karamchandani, left, and Hochan Jang posed for a photo outside of their latest establishment, Bubble Tea, which is located in the Gateway.

UT graduates Prakash Karamchandani, left, and Hochan Jang posed for a photo outside of their latest establishment, Bubble Tea, which is located in the Gateway.

“Bubble tea is a hand-shaken virgin cocktail based on tea,” Prakash Karamchandani, who graduated from UT in 2008, said. “We plan to be experimental and try different concepts. This is going to be our test lab. Students are the best test market.”

The Asian specialty drink contains flavored tea and tapioca balls or fruit juice bubbles.

“It’s nostalgic,” Hochan Jang, who graduated from UT in 2009, said. “We met in the College of Business and developed the plan for Balance [Pan-Asian Grille] here. It feels good to be back on campus. We wanted to be part of the reinvention happening at UT.”

Balance Pan-Asian Grille sells bubble tea at its locations in Sylvania, Maumee and a third opening soon in Perrysburg. However, Bubble Tea will be a stand-alone shop separate from the Asian-fusion restaurants.

The owners of Bubble Tea will hold a grand opening celebration Friday, Jan. 15, at 3 p.m. Customers are invited to help complete an art installation on the wall by blowing paint bubbles.

“We are proud these innovative alumni chose to come back to campus to expand their business that is sure to be appealing to students,” Brenda Lee, president of the UT Foundation, said. “Bubble Tea is a vibrant addition to all of the businesses at the Gateway anchored by Barnes & Noble and Gradkowski’s, owned by another successful graduate. Since breaking ground nearly five years ago, Gateway has become a great asset to revitalize the Dorr Street corridor.”

Bubble Tea will be open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Gateway opened two years ago and features restaurants, stores and loft-style apartments. Businesses include Barnes & Noble University Bookstore, Gradkowski’s, Starbucks, Rice Blvd., Verizon Wireless Zone, Huntington, Great Clips and Jimmy John’s.

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