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Boba, which serves Southeast Asian cuisine at its location in Lewiston, plans to open a kiosk in the Maine Mall in South Portland by Sept. 1.
“It will be a more digital experience than a dining one for our business,” said co-owner and chef Zachary Pratt, who appeared on the 2018 season of the Food Network’s “Chopped” competition.
That includes online ordering for takeout, so customers will pick up food rather than sitting and eating it inside of a restaurant like the Lewiston location.
The restaurant offers cuisine with a local twist in family traditions from northern Thailand, including spicy noodles and dumplings with a crunch. The Asian-themed dishes it serves are influenced by the cuisines of Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan and China.
Boba recently raised $65,000 from private investors to fund the expansion.
The restaurant has come a long way since it opened a modest, five-seat eatery inside a former Lewiston gas station in 2015. It quickly developed a loyal following and in 2019 moved into its current downtown location on Lisbon Street next to Rainbow Bicycle. It is testing a new market in the Portland area along with a more digitally oriented restaurant format.
Boba is the most recent addition to the increasingly diverse food tenants in the Maine Mall that offer shoppers more than the standard food court pizza and burgers.
Soul Food Paradise moved to the mall from Fork Food Lab in Portland last September offering comfort foods including oxtails, fried pork chops, collard greens and other southern food. The Fries Shop, which opened in July, serves everything from pizza fries to queso fries in a cone, box or panini.

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