Happy Hippie opens in Aggieville: ‘Public Hall in a different font’

The Midwest smoothie is a blend of strawberry, pineapple, peach, mango, yogurt and honey. Happy Hippie is a new smoothie shop in Aggieville that has replaced Public Hall. (Grace Needham | Collegian Media Group)

Happy Hippie in Aggieville is finally open, taking the place of Public Hall. Students flocked to the newest smoothie restaurant at the beginning of this week to try the food and drinks. One student, Krista Else, posted a picture of herself in a booth at Happy Hippie with her laptop and acai bowl, captioning it “Public Hall in a different font.”

The space still feels remarkably like Public Hall. The notes students shoved in the walls of the old coffee shop are gone, but the wood accents, plants and distinct Public Hall smell still remain.

In all honesty, I thought a smoothie shop had no chance of surviving in Aggieville, especially since the most successful businesses along Moro Street are full-service restaurants, bars and coffee shops. Happy Hippie has thus far proven my theory wrong; the space is usually busy in the mornings with customers vying for their morning health food.

The menu at Happy Hippie is alarmingly long; the best restaurants stick to a pared-down menu of items they know they can make well. Between blended coffee, smoothies, acai bowls, coffee, avocado toast and more, it was hard to choose something to try as a first-time customer. Finally settling on the Midwest smoothie, I took my number and sat near the front of the space where I could look out on Aggieville through the massive windows.

The Midwest smoothie is a blend of strawberry, pineapple, peach, mango, yogurt and honey. When it was brought to my table, I was given a fat straw and a large pink blend in a plastic cup. While the smoothie was slightly too expensive for my liking, I did get a decent amount of drink for the price. I took a sip and was pleasantly surprised.

The smoothie was well-balanced and sweet. It was strawberry and honey-forward. The drink was agreeably smooth; sometimes smoothies can get too icy or too watery, but the consistency was perfect. As I made more progress on the drink, it did develop a slightly weird, gritty texture, but it was nothing I wasn’t willing to endure for the fantastic taste. 

Going to Happy Hippie for a nice chat with friends is one thing; studying is another. Every time a new order is punched in, the whirring noise from the choir of blenders fills the restaurant. If I were studying I wouldn’t be able to hear myself think. The only seats isolated from the noise pollution are the few coveted booths in the back.

Happy Hippie’s success outside of breakfast hours may be short-lived as its novelty wears off. While it’s nice to have a breakfast place in the ‘Ville that doesn’t just serve donuts, the business needs to figure out a way to make studying a more enjoyable experience in order to expand and maintain its customer base. Based on my own experiences and listening to others’, I’d grade the food and drinks a solid B–. While the business made quite the debut, Happy Hippie might still have some work to do.