More big straws and bubble tea drinks are headed to Detroit this winter. Gowhnou Lee, co-founder of Go! Sy Thai, tells Eater she and husband Cedric Lee are planning a new bubble tea shop and Asian minimart to complement their Cass Corridor Thai restaurant. Tentatively dubbed The Sweet Life of TOU & MAI, the business is slated to fill a vacancy next to Go! Sy Thai on West Canfield Street (formerly occupied by Patrick Thompson Design).
Invented in Taiwan, bubble tea (also called boba or milk tea) is known for its large pearls of tapioca and milky and sometimes fruit flavored sweetened tea slurped through an oversized straw. While it’s popular around the world, there are very few places to enjoy it currently in the city of Detroit. “We saw a need for those particular products because of the large Asian population and students,” in the greater Midtown area says Lee.
The Sweet Life will offer a small menu of made-to-order and grab-and-go bubble teas as well as smoothies. “We want to keep it really focus and we want to keep varieties just enough so you get to try everything,” she says. Additionally, the shop will serve as an Asian minimart selling condiments such as Sriracha and fish sauces, ready-made foods, dry items, and candies.
Tou and Mai are popular names in the Hmong culture, Lee explains, and diners can expect to see these characters and Asian cultural influences in the design of the space. Plans currently call for a palette that incorporates indigo, green, and pale pink colors as well as concrete and wood materials. Go! Sy Thai and the shop will operate as separate entities but will be connected so that customers can flow between both businesses easily.
In the meantime Lee, confirms that Go! Sy Thai’s Capitol Park restaurant has been delayed (it was initially expected to debut this week). The downtown outpost operated by Cedric Lee and Alex Lee is now expected to open by January 2 with the The Sweet Life of TOU & MAI to launch soon after.
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