This article was originally published in the March 2018 Princeton Echo.

This spring will bring the addition of not one but two eating establishments focused on bowls built on the trendy “superfood” acai berry.

FruttaBowls, which has multiple New Jersey locations including Robbinsville, New Brunswick, and Somerset, is preparing for a March opening at 142 Nassau Street, the longtime home of Hulit’s shoes.

And Princeton Shopping Center is marketing the upcoming arrival of Sweetberry Bowls in the former Quiznos space. The bowl and smoothie spot already has outposts in Montclair and Fort Myers, Florida.

Both offer bowls and smoothies based on a blend of acai berries topped with granola, nuts, and fruit, and both will contend with Prince­ton’s original purveyor of the acai bowl — Tico’s Eatery & Juice Bar at 33 Witherspoon Street. or 609-252-0300.

All a facade

No dining establishments between Chestnut and Pine streets are new arrivals, but you’d be forgiven for thinking that everything along that block had changed.

Tiger Noodles, the Chinese restaurant at 260 Nassau Street since 1997, moved to 252 Nassau Street, which has been vacant since Nina’s Waffles’ brief stint there. Tiger Noodles has the same food but upgraded decor in its new digs.

The Maltabes family’s triumvirate of Hoagie Haven, Slice Between, and George’s Roasters & Ribs at 242-244 Nassau Street is very much alive, but with a new look. George’s name and classic red awning are gone; in its place is Hoagie Haven 2, which offers indoor seating and will soon add delivery. A grand opening for the rebranded shop takes place Saturday, March 3, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

And work is nearing completion on the porch addition to Small World Coffee, Nassau Street Seafood, and Blue Point Grill at 254-258 Nassau Street. The glass enclosure now allows for near-al fresco dining at the sidewalk level — even in February, thanks to heat lamps. The last step will be the addition of rooftop dining, accessible via a staircase on Pine Street, that will provide an additional 28 seats, weather-permitting.

But the biggest change of all isn’t visible from the street: in its 25th year of existence, Small World Coffee finally accepts credit cards.

Waste not

Bloomberg Philanthropies has named Princeton as one of its 35 champion cities for its 2018 U.S. Mayors Challenge. The nationwide competition provides coaching and funding for cities to test innovative ideas that address their biggest challenges.

Princeton’s proposal focused on addressing food waste. The problem, its proposal explained, is that “almost 25 percent of Mercer County trash is food and organic waste, which produces abundant methane when left to decompose in the landfill, and, so far, there is no proven or efficient strategy to fix this issue.”

Princeton’s innovative solution mixes psychology and technology: “The municipality of Princeton will use behavioral science to develop interventions to reduce food waste, and install a local food digester to turn the waste into compost for local farms, keeping organics out of landfills and reducing methane gas emissions.”

During the first six-month phase of the project a team from each champion city will attend an “ideas camp” in New York City and be eligible for up to $100,000 in grant funding. In August each city will submit a new proposal, from which four will be selected for $1 million awards and one will receive a $5 million award to implement their ideas. Visit mayors­