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San Jose’s Newest Boba Café Will Make Instagrammers’ Heads Explode

Square Bar Café knows what the people want

Kerry Lee

San Diego’s popular Square Bar Café opens in San Jose (1154 Story Rd.) this Saturday (May 13), serving an endless parade of boba drinks, coffee and ice cream that was basically designed for Instagram. That includes boba served in lightbulb shaped vessels, a rainbow of different colored ice cream cones, and ice cream sandwiches made with fruity pebbles.

Owner Ben Nguyen opened Square Bar in San Diego in 2015 with fresh-brewed coffee and plans for viral internet domination. Offerings include ice cream made daily with flavors like birthday cake (cake batter, vanilla, and sprinkles), and Ube (purple yam/sweet potato); customers can choose from flavored ice cream cones, including lavender, red velvet, and pink vanilla.

The boba drinks, made with premium loose-leaf teas sourced from around the world, are served in either a reusable glass or a light bulb. If you can’t decide between two drinks, just get them both in a split cup. Meanwhile, ice cream sandwiches can be topped with various types of cereal, and adorable candies.

While customers at the San Jose location can expect to find all the same items from the San Diego location, there is one notable exception: The crepe cake, a 20-layer cake made of individual crepes and a whipped cream mixture, that serves as garnish to the boba drinks.

Nguyen said the idea for the cake came directly from Square Bar’s social media team. “They wanted to do a drink and cake together somehow, so they put the cake on top of the drink and that just blew up on social media,” Nguyen told Eater. “Everybody wants to order that. People like it for the pictures.” For now, the Bay Area will have to wait for Square Bar to have their cake and eat it, too. Nguyen says that the cake requires a special machine and space to bake it daily; he and the team are looking for nearby locations specially for crepe cake production.

San Jose is just Nguyen’s first step into the Bay Area, as he hopes to bring his treats to San Francisco later this year. He is currently looking at three spots in the city, but did not disclose those neighborhoods. “We’re really anxious about coming to San Francisco. Hopefully by September or October we’ll be there.”

The grand opening is this Saturday, May 13. Hours for that day are noon to midnight and the first 100 customers will get their choice of a free t-shirt, hat, or camera lens mug.

Square Bar

1154 Story Rd, San Jose, CA 95122 Visit Website

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