Algae up 

Juice bars the new toast of the healthy drinking set.

click to enlarge SHE CAN KELP YOU: Allie Lindley, at I Love Juice Bar, pours out a smoothie.
  • SHE CAN KELP YOU: Allie Lindley, at I Love Juice Bar, pours out a smoothie.

One of the classic scenes in the movie "The Thin Man" is when Nora Charles instructs the bartender to line up five martinis in a row so she can catch up, gin-wise, with her husband, Nick.

At Roots Juices last week, a regular did much the same: She lined up the four shots that come in the Power Boost ($5) — dandelion, lemon, ginger and watermelon — and said she drinks them one after the other. The only difference between the Roots Juices regular and Nora was fermentation and the inevitable next day's headache.

Roots Juices would have had something for Nora, too: the Hangover Recovery Kit, made of "detox water" and fruit/vegetable drinks called Wakeup, Aloe Vera H20, Liver Cleanse, Chlorophyll H20 and Skin Glow, all cold-pressed and bottled at the Heights juice bar.

At I Love Juice Bar (the "I Love" signified by a heart for the dot in the i) in the Midtowne Shopping Center, a customer asked for the ever-popular Green Smoothie, made of spinach, kale, pineapple, banana, lemon, organic coconut milk and organic apple juice. (The apple juice adds the sweetness; juice bars use fruit, not sugar, to sweeten.) The customer said he'd lost 37 pounds since November by substituting the Juice Bar drinks for other foods he was eating.

A third juice bar, Juice Leaf, is expected to open in a couple of weeks downtown. The juice bar trend has a past — there was a juice bar downtown in the 1960s where my aunt got fresh carrot juice — and Whole Foods Market has been blending up greens and fruits for many years. Home juicing itself is not novel.

But the 21st century juice bar, which has finally found its way to Little Rock, serves up drinks that outdo the grass clippings of yore, adding such mysterious "superfoods" such as blue green algae (Aphanizomemon flos aquae) from Klamath Lake in Oregon; spirulina, another blue-green alga; maca root from the Andes (Lepidium meyenii); pink salt from the Himalayas. And spices like turmeric and cayenne, seeds and nuts and cacao nibs and goji berries. There's no rosemary or pansies, Ophelia's treatments, but she might have said here's bee pollen, that's for energy; ginger for nausea; jalapeno for headache; matcha green tea to burn fat. They're mixed with a veritable cornucopia of greens — celery, kale, spinach, cucumber, parsley, wheat grass, mint, carrot, avocado, beets — made more palatable by lemon, apple, blueberries, bananas, strawberries, mango, pineapple, even peanut butter.

Some of the drinks still resemble pond scum, but I can attest that the Green Smoothie at Juice Bar was delicious, and filling as well, if somewhat dear at $7.50. Expect to pay special prices at juice bars. That makes sense, because the drinks at both Juice Bar and Roots Juices contain 2 to 3 pounds of fruit and vegetable matter. The juice bars go through thousands of pounds of fruit weekly; I Love Juice Bar donates about 3,000 pounds of pulp every month to local gardens.

Though it doesn't sound particularly healthy, there's a coffee smoothie at Roots Juices, made with coffee syrup, almond milk, almond butter, cinnamon, cocoa and pineapple, a wonderfully bitter and rich concoction (and unlike the juices, packing a punch of 300 calories).

Cleanses are all the rage for those whose body is a temple, and I Love Juice Bar and Roots Juices offer a variety of cleanse packages. At Juice Bar, the essential cleanse (for beginners) is six juices that you drink over the course of a day. Juice Bar will sell by the day for $45 a day (includes six Mason jars) or $39 a day (you bring in your own Mason jars). Most cleanse aficianados go for multiday cleanses, and come in daily with their jars to be filled up. The Roots Juice cleanse is a three-day program ($50 a day) in which six juices (bottled and labeled at the store) are drunk one every two hours in a particular order, and like Juice Bar there are three levels of cleanse, for beginners, one for experienced juicers and one that is mostly vegetable-based and low in fruit sugar.

Both juice bars also serve the aforementioned shots, ($2.50-$3 for a single at Juice Bar, $3 for a single at Roots Juices).

The bars were founded by men who say they gained mental and physical benefits from juicing: Roots Juices founder Brent Rodgers gave up a career in a Fortune 500 company to bring the gospel of goji berries to people; Juice Bar founder John Hunt began juicing to shed pounds.

There are differences to both franchises: I Love Juice Bar serves fresh foods like sandwiches, wraps, quinoa salads, whole coconuts and pineapples. Roots Juices serves all kinds of vegan and gluten-free prepared foods, from popcorn to coco-roon cookies, oatmeal bites, Kize and other brand energy bars and other vegan snacks. Roots Juices, where customers tend to hang out at a long bar, recognizes that some of its customers are flexible in their definition of juice and sells a cocktail party mixer kit (Lean & Fit grapefruit mint, 2 bottles of Watermelon Cooler, 2 bottles of Pear Passion and 2 bottles of Melon Mania for $60.) I Love Juice bar also sells its cold-pressed juices straight for 42 cents an ounce; co-owner Barkley Boyd said one customer came in with an empty liter soda bottle for a fill-up.

I Love Juice Bar
Midtowne Shopping Center
201 N. University Ave.

Roots Juices
5501 Kavanaugh Blvd.

Juice Leaf
402 Louisiana St.
(Expected to open by the end of March)


From the ArkTimes store

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • Get your fiber at the Main Branch of Laman Library: Cade, Halsey, Kuster, Zarco, Trusty, Hernandez and others

    Sixteen women who work in fiber arts — including long-time fiber artist Barbara Cade, tapestry artist and 2017 Living Treasure, weaver Louise Halsey, and Delta Exhibition veteran Dr. Deborah Kuster — have contributed work to the "All Women Fiber Arts Exhibition" opening Friday at the William F. Laman Public Library in North Little Rock. There will be a reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The show is the second all-women fiber arts show organized by artist Rachel Trusty; the first was called "Form in Fiber," shown last year at the Laman Library Argenta Branch.
    • Aug 11, 2017
  • Bob Schneider at Rev Room

    Also, PopUp Argenta, Frances & The Foundation, "97" fiber installation at Bernice Garden, Jim Gaffigan, "Be Yourself" Poster Launch and more
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires

    Also, Outlaw Music Festival, Little Tybee, Terminal Nation, Liz Brasher, Architecture and Design Network Talk from Jeff Shannon, Good Foot and more
    • Jul 6, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • The ballad of Fred and Yoko

    How one of the world's foremost Beatles collectors died homeless on the streets of Little Rock.
    • Mar 31, 2016
  • 2016 Best of Arkansas editors' picks

    A few of our favorite things.
    • Jul 28, 2016
  • Visionary Arkansans 2016

    They make an impact.
    • Sep 15, 2016

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.

Latest in Cover Stories

Event Calendar

« »


  1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments


© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation