Feb. 27, 2020 By Allie Griffin
Two lifelong friends who grew up together in Forest Hills are opening up a smoothie and acai bowl location in the neighborhood.
Tom Aronov and Ben Gil are opening a SoBol franchise on Queens Boulevard, with a planned opening for Memorial Day Weekend.
The Forest Hills SoBol, at 110-48 Queens Blvd., will be their first restaurant– but will be the third location in Queens for the corporation. The Long Island-based chain has locations in Astoria and Bayside, and operates in other cities.
Aronov and Gil have long had a dream of opening a restaurant together after meeting at Forest Hills High School, where they were classmates.
“Ben and I, we met in high school, and we always had a passion for opening up an establishment, a restaurant or cafe,” Aronov said.
The pair, who work in real estate, frequented the SoBol near their Long Island office and quickly became fans of the fresh fruit bowls. When they learned about SoBol’s franchising opportunities, the duo decided to bring the smoothie bowl concept to their hometown.
“Next to our office, we saw this place called SoBol,” Aronov said. “And when we found out that it was a franchise, we thought it might be the perfect opportunity to try to open up that dream of ours, a restaurant.”
Aronov and Gil believe that there is a market in Forest Hills for their fare, which features blended fruit bowls with toppings like nut butters and housemade granola that Sobol is known for.
“We love the product, we love the culture and we thought it would be a perfect fit for the neighborhood of Forest Hills,” Aronov said.
Their hometown is just the beginning.
The pair aim to open two or three more Sobol locations in Queens after getting the Forest Hills restaurant up and running. They are looking at Fresh Meadows, Rego Park and Kew Gardens as possibilities.
There is another Sobol franchise in Astoria located at 35-04 Ditmars Blvd..