After years of rumors and speculation, there is finally some clarity regarding the proverbial “empty” side of the green. Longtime Morristown residents will already be familiar with the subject of this breaking development. Beginning on or around June 4th 2022, Playa Bowls will be moving from its current site on Speedwell Avenue to 14 North Park Place, directly along the Morristown Green. Playa Bowls has made a major statement of intent in Morristown, having agreed to a 10 year lease for their new home. Significantly, Playa Bowl’s relocation demonstrates the vacant side of the Green will be offered to businesses as individual sites rather than one massive lot.
For those less familiar with Playa Bowls, the brand is currently experiencing a massive growth trajectory thanks to its emphasis on healthy, eco-friendly super fruits which are teeming with antioxidants. Further, there is an array of options for those with specialized dietary needs – the majority of the menu can be prepared vegan with only slight modification! Instrumental in helping Playa Bowls establish a more visible location within the Morristown CBD is franchise owner Robert “Bobby” Howell. Howell already operates Playa Bowls locations in both Holmdel and nearby Florham Park, NJ. He plans to utilize employees from his other stores to support the upcoming re-launch.
Bobby Howell is a perfect ambassador for the Playa Bowls brand. Co-founder Abby Taylor described him as a “great addition” who embodies the whole culture and vibe of the organization. Taylor and fellow founder Robert Giuliani started the company as a pop-up shop on a sidewalk across from the Belmar, NJ seaside. Their inspiration came from acai and pitaya-based recipes discovered on surfing trips both domestic and abroad to locations such as Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, California & Hawaii. Bobby Howell too is an avid surfer who grew up on New Jersey’s beaches. Howell even turned his lifelong passion into a career as a professional surfer. He continues to compete despite his retirement, winning Eastern Surfing Association’s Northeast Championship, Legends division in 2018.
Howell’s takeover of Morristown’s Playa Bowls franchise is much more substantial than a mere change of address. For fans of this sweet treat, the first adjustment is more favorable operating hours. The new location will be open from 9:00am-9:00pm daily. Playa Bowls Mo’Town also plans to apply for a cafe permit for outdoor seating. If approved, PB’s 22-foot wide seating area would be the second largest in town behind only M Station’s 45 feet.
The changes inside are just as meaningful. Howell beams when describing the new location’s decor; a fireplace, bleach out wood ceramic decking, reclaimed wooden walls adorned with artwork, and a ceiling composed of reclaimed metal are a few highlights. Starting with a clean slate allows this new site to be built according to the modern Playa Bowl’s standard. Parking on the Green can be challenging; however, North Park Place has the advantage of the towering four story Dalton Street garage (formerly utilized by Century 21 department store) directly behind it. Howell is also actively seeking to set up 5 minute parking out front for grab/go customers.
Bobby Howell is excited for his Playa Bowl’s franchise to become part of the history of the Green. A major goal is to minimize any disruption to his business during the move. In support of his aim, Howell is planning to close for just one week during the transition. This window gives him the chance to complete a health department inspection and secure a CO. The opportunity to train staff on location at the new site is another benefit of the week-long shutdown. June will be here before you know it so look forward to a refreshed Playa Bowls experience. We certainly will!