QUEENS — Bubble tea lovers from Rego Park no longer have to travel to Flushing to get a sip of their favorite drink.
They can now grab it on their way to their neighborhood subway stop at Chatime Station, which opened recently at 97-11 64th Ave.
Part of the franchise Chatime, the store, only one block away from the 63rd Drive-Rego Park train station, resembles a subway car with subway maps placed on the walls and authentic benches and grab handles that came from the old 7 train cars, the owners said.
The owners — Victoria and David Lee, who live 5 blocks away from their store — said they decided to open it in Rego Park, because the neighborhood was missing a bubble tea place.
“I walk this way on my way to work and there was never any bubble tea around here,” said Victoria Lee, 40, who also works full time as a kindergarten teacher, while her husband is a high school principal in the Bronx, she said.
The Taiwanese tea-based drink mixed with non-dairy creamer comes in many flavors, including black tea, Japanese matcha and taro, which can be combined with different toppings, like tapioca pearls, grass jelly and red beans. Each drink cost between $2.75 and $3.25.
Black milk tea with tapioca pearls has been the most popular item so far, Lee said.
Patrons can also get a variety of fruit teas, juices, smoothies, coffees, tea lattes and hot chocolates (prices range from $2.25 to $3.75).
Among the latest additions to the menu is a potted plant drink, which Lee said, instantly gained popularity. The beverage, made up of a tea drink over tapioca pearls, a sea salt mousse, topped with crushed Oreo cookies, and a mint leaf, costs between $4.75 (for the Chatime milk tea) and $5.75 (for the matcha tea latte).
The store, which offers free Wi-Fi to its customers, will also soon begin selling a variety of pastries, Lee said.
Mario and Monica Lopez, who live in the neighborhood, first spotted the store on Thursday afternoon, while walking around with their 5-month-old son Xavier. The couple ordered two hot chocolates to warm up on a chilly day.
“This is really good for the neighborhood,” said Mario Lopez, 38, adding that his wife is a big fan of bubble teas. “We will definitely be back.”