Students looking to get a bubble tea fix can now do so without leaving campus.
Bliss, a new bubble tea restaurant, is set to open mid-February in Jester West, replacing Freshens, a smoothie and yogurt bar. Along with classic bubble tea drinks, Bliss will offer a variety of juices and food items, such as sushi and pot stickers, UT dietician Sotear Kuy said.
UT Housing and Dining created Bliss following student suggestions and dining trends. Kuy said she designed the bubble tea menu for Bliss based on her experiences.
“I grew up drinking bubble tea and visiting different boba shops,” Kuy said. “At Bliss you will see a lot of common drinks such as different milk teas and fruit-infused drinks, but we are also going to have some drinks that will be unique to Bliss.”
Prices for boba-based drinks will range from $3.25 to $3.75, and toppings such as tapioca pearls and jellies will be sold a la carte. The juices will range from $5.50 to $6.00, Kuy said.
“The hours we plan to start with will be 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and Fridays we will close around 2 p.m.,” Kuy said. “However, based on student demand we might change the hours to fit that.”
Dining director Rene Rodriguez said UT Housing and Dining decided to replace Freshens after seeing a decrease in sales over recent semesters.
“Freshens, for so many years, was a trendy item,” Rodriguez said. “It really has to do with customer counts. Just like with any of the trendy foods, they are really popular and then they start trending down.”
Last summer, a majority of Jester residents who filled out a survey said they wanted to see boba tea and grab-and-go items in addition to available dining options, Kuy said.
“We always get the students involved,” Rodriguez said. “With the survey, they will send us what is popular and what direction we should go.”
Biology freshman Michelle Mai said she usually walks to Guadalupe to get boba tea but plans to go to Bliss once it opens.
“I was kind of surprised when I found out there would be a boba place in Jester, but I know that bubble tea is really popular with students,” Mai said. “With it being in Jester, my friends and I have been talking about how it’s going to eat up all of our money.”