“Bay Bowls” Grand Opening on Washington Avenue Today


Sal Matari, With His Two Year Old Granddaughter, Zaida. One of His Fruit Bowls is Named for Her.

A Pitaya Based Bowl for Sale at Bay Bowls. Strawberries are the Top Layer With Banannas Immediaely Below.

Sal Matari With Other Members of his Family at the Grand Opening Today in Front of the Shipping Containers on Washington Avenue.

The Menu Board at Bay Bowls, 93 Washington Avenue, Near the former J. J. Nissen Bakery Building.  The Zaida Bowl is Named for his Two Year Old Granddaughter.  (See above photo on left).

“COVID-19  brought me to Maine from New Jersey.  I used to work in New York City and COVID-19 shut the city down.  I worked for garment manfacturers on 38th Street and Broadway,” said Sal Matari, this afternoon at the Grand Opening of Bay Bowls, located in one of the shipping containers, 93 Washington Avenue.  Bay Bowls replaces Onggi that is moving to the former A&C Grocery building later this month.

Matari, who was born in Brasil, lived mostly in New Jersey, where he and his wife raised their four children. But several years ago, at the beginning of the pandemic, he and his family relocated to Boothbay Harbor.

A year ago, he started a Bay Bowls, in Brunswick, near the Bowdoin College campus. “The Bay Bowls on Main Street  has been successful,” Matari said smiling.  “It was time to expand into Portland.”  One of his daughters told him about the shipping container retail spaces.  He began talking to the owners of the shipping containers, also known as “Black Boxes”  on Washington Avenue, about a month ago.

There are twelve (12) fruit bowls on his menu. Six of them are Acai based and the rest Pitaya based bowls. Each has fruit, much local,  piled high on top and in an artful design making the bowl so distinctively appealing as to be hard to resist purchase.  “We strive for each bowl to be a piece of artwork,” said Laith Matari, son of Sal, who is a junior at Northeastern University.  “We like the vibrant burst of colors in our bowls.”

Acai is a berry from the Amazon in Basil.  Pitaya is found in Hawaii and Indonesia.  Formerly, it was found in South America, but was transported to other tropical countries where it has flourished.

Both Acai and Pitaya are conidered to be fruits with strong health benefits. What does Acai taste like?  “There is nothing to compare it to,” said Matari.  He’s right.  This blogger says Acai must be tasted to be believed!

“I’m excited about this Zaida Bowl,  Bay Bowls is a great addition to the neighborhood,” said Nat Green, a developer who lives in the neighborhood.

Bay Bowls will be open 7 days a week, roughly from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The shipping containers, also known as Black Boxes, began arriving at 93 Washigton Avenue early in the morning of August 13, 2018.  They were the brainchild of former property owner Jed T. Harris.  He saw a need in Portland for start-up businesses to open up without a large initial investment. Perhaps Portland needs more of these.  Rents on Exchange Street are high, preventing start-up businesses from opening.  For more background information on the shipping containers or Black Boxes, please visit post herein dated August 13, 2018.