T4 holds grand opening in downtown Los Altos


Barrett Wong

T4 held their grand opening on Thursday, February 14 after several delays due to bad weather. This is the first boba tea shop and second beverage franchise to open a store in downtown Los Altos.

By Ethan Ruyack and Barrett Wong

Tea shop T4, located on Main Street next to Spot Pizza in downtown Los Altos, held their grand opening on Thursday, February 14 after it was delayed several times due to bad weather. T4 was established in 2004 and already has many locations throughout Silicon Valley including Cupertino and Palo Alto. Their opening in downtown Los Altos could indicate a shift towards a contemporary Los Altos.

“I think [Los Altos] is becoming much more teen friendly, and I’m super excited to be part of the movement to bring more teens downtown,” co-owner Eric Fung said.

In the past, owners of various beverage stores, which attracted a predominantly young consumer base, have experienced many of the problems behind holding a place in downtown. Jamba Juice on Main Street first opened in 1999 but closed its doors in 2013 due to popularity and leasing issues. Forest on First—a family-friendly cafe that served small snacks and beverages—opened one year later, but they experienced similar issues and the restaurant was sold within the same year. Afterward, no such places appeared until T4 announced their plan to open a shop in downtown Los Altos in spring 2018. This lack of teen friendly boba tea shop in downtown is something that T4 wants to change, as they are the first shop in Los Altos dedicated to serving the drink.

The opening of T4 also provides Los Altos residents with a more convenient stop for boba. Before T4, many high schoolers had to travel far away from their homes and the heart of Los Altos to find a boba tea shop. Previously, the closest boba shop was Teaspoon, which is located at the very edge of Los Altos and about a 30-minute walk away from the high school.

“We opened [this T4] because we felt that downtown Los Altos is very nice, but it was missing a boba tea shop and honestly that’s kind of crazy,” Fung said. “There’s so many kids here, the high school is nearby, Foothill College is nearby, and there’s no boba tea downtown?”

In preparation for their grand opening, T4 held a soft-opening for two months to train the workforce and give the customers a preview of their menu. According to T4 employee junior Bryce Li, he finds the process and the experience of working at T4 enjoyable.

“It’s honestly fun because you get to see people you know or their parents,” Bryce said. “There’s a lot of great interactions you can have with others.”

At the grand opening, Los Altos mayor Lynette Lee Eng came to celebrate along with a large amount of teens. T4 also offered a special buy one get one half off deal exclusive to that day. Customers now have access to an expanded menu, with items such as egg puffs and coffee.

“We really want to be the go-to spot for [the] teenagers of Los Altos,” Fung said.