Lexington welcomes açaí bowl shop

W&L students can find açaí and smoothies made with fresh ingredients at a new restaurant


Claire DiChiaro

Lex Bowls offers many themed menu items, incluing a General bowl for W&L students and faculty members.

Claire Dichiaro, Staff Writer

Lexington’s newest addition to its downtown scene is Lex Bowls, a family-run smoothie and açaí shop. The store, located just steps away from the Washington and Lee campus on West Nelson Street, officially opened on Oct. 3.  

Even though the co-owners, Amie and Greg Phillips, are from New York, they have a connection to Lexington because their son graduated from Virginia Military Institute in 2022. They learned through his experience that there were not any restaurants in Lexington that served açaí.

“My son used to bring açaí bowls back from New York when he would come back to campus. We felt like there was a need for it,” Amie Phillips said.

So far, the business has received much attention from both the VMI and W&L communities. 

“There’s been so much support from the college students that we didn’t really expect,” Amie Phillips said. “They’ve all just been so nice and ask how the business is going, so that was a pleasant surprise that the college students care so much.”

When asked about the ratio of college students to local families, Amie Phillips estimated that 75% of Lex Bowls’ customers are college students. She attributes this to the number of students posting their bowls on Instagram and other social media sites. 

The shop creates a community atmosphere through its weekly “college days.” Every Wednesday, students of a particular school receive 15% off. On the second Wednesday of every month, W&L students can receive the discount.

Amie Phillips said she was inspired by the local surroundings when creating and naming each bowl on the menu. 

“The Keydet bowl was for VMI, and we put in the colors of VMI as banana-strawberry. For the General bowl, we put in blueberries for the colors of W&L,” she said. 

Amie Phillips said that she tries to purchase ingredients and fresh produce locally. For example, Whistle Creek Apiaries of Lexington provides the honey for the business. They also supply small bottles of honey and honey sticks to be sold in the shop.

“If some students are looking at the honey sticks and they’ve never had them, then we tell them they can take one,” Amie Phillips said. “We try and make it a family atmosphere.”

Lex Bowls is open late most nights in order to cater to customers who are enjoying Lexington in the evening.

“We’re hoping that this would get people to come in, and we were also thinking people who work in town can stop by on their way home from work,” Amie Phillips said.

The store is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Sunday’s hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m, and the shop is closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

W&L students have the option to get açaí at Foodside on the weekends, but Amie Phillips said she isn’t worried about any competition.

“Some of the W&L students have said we have more toppings, so we’re hoping people gravitate here,” she said.

Amie Phillips also said that LexBowls is open to listening to students’ ideas.

“We had a student who came in a couple times and asked for almond butter, and so we just added almond butter to our menu today,” she said. “We’re always changing if people want something.”