The tropical-inspired restaurant Wow Wow Lemonade Stand plans to open on Telegraph Avenue this summer, according to Berkeley franchise owner Stephen Choi.
Choi said the shop will sell açaí bowls, which he described as a fan favorite, as well as lemonades, tropical drinks, cold brew coffee, superfood smoothies and healthy bites. He noted that while there will be some indoor seating, the restaurant will focus primarily on takeout.
“We’re going to serve everyone who can appreciate delicious foods,” Choi said. “I believe that it could really benefit the area because it can offer a vacation-like getaway when you have a refreshing drink. So I believe that a lot of the students can really benefit from all these things that we offer.”
UC Berkeley freshman Renee Rodriguez expressed her enthusiasm for the restaurant’s opening, adding that she usually buys smoothies two to four times per month.
“I’m excited that there will be such a convenient location that provides delicious beverages and snacks,” Rodriguez said. “I’m looking forward to trying the açaí bowls because the area around campus does not have one açaí bowl place that really sticks out to me.”
Wow Wow Lemonade Stand will fill the lot formerly occupied by J-Town Express, a Japanese snack and toy store. Choi said construction plans are in place to furnish the 1,300-square-foot retail space with a kitchen and areas for preparation, service and customer seating.
Although he is uncertain about the restaurant’s operating hours, Choi said staff will assess what times customers prefer to enjoy their menu offerings once the store opens. According to Choi, signs are posted on the windows of the new building location to seek out potential hires.
“Our signs are up so that we can attract good people who share the spirit of aloha with us with enthusiasm and experience,” Choi said. “I’m already getting applicants. I’ve gotten several applicants who seem to be very enthusiastic about being a team member.”
Mohammed Alrefai, co-owner of the neighboring business Sharetea on Telegraph Avenue, noted his anticipation for the restaurant’s opening, which he said will bring a “Hawaiian kick” to the area. Alrefai also expects the restaurant will bring greater diversity to the Berkeley community.
Choi said he is very fond of the Berkeley Telegraph area as an East Bay native who used to practice martial arts nearby. As of present, the nearest operating Wow Wow Lemonade Stand locations are located in Livermore and San Jose.
“I’m excited about opening Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade in Berkeley,” Choi said. “I really welcome and invite everyone to come support us. And I look forward to seeing all the customers that we will have.”