The Fresh Juice Bar Era

Juice bars aim to offer both health and convenience to consumers.

| July/August 1998

  • Facundo Gomez pours a freshly blended smoothie at Juice Event, a Seattle area juice bar. Juices often serve as bases for herbal add-ins, which by themselves can have an unpleasantly strong taste.
    Rod Mar/Seattle Times
  • Herbal and nutritional add-ins are a mainstay at most juice bars for ­energy boosts, cold protection, and more.
    Gary Settle/Seattle Times
  • Facundo Gomez pours a freshly blended smoothie at Juice Event, a Seattle area juice bar. Juices often serve as bases for herbal add-ins, which by themselves can have an unpleasantly strong taste.

Summertime Smoothie  

The time: the early 1960s. The country’s mood: playful. Think sand, surf, sun, and a smoothie—fruit juice blended into a beverage as fun as the Beach Boys.

Fast forward to the 1990s. The mood: healthful. Think wide open spaces, meditation, sunscreen, and still a smoothie—this time with alternative variations, including shots of herbal extracts and names such as “Liver Flush,” “Mood Buster,” and “Mellow Out.”

It’s the era of the juice bar. Not the kind that comes in a wrapper, but the kind with barstools, blenders, and herbal supplements—a phenomenon born of Southern California and once “fringe” health-food stores.



During the past few years, the juice bar has nuzzled its way into the American lunch and snack crowds, setting up shop in airports and shopping malls, even edging into conventional eateries such as Baskin-Robbins and Taco Bell in some parts of the country.

“Baby boomers have started to grow up and realize that what they put into their bodies is going to impact how their bodies are going to perform,” says Mark Siebert, president of Francorp, Inc., an Illinois-based management consulting firm. “The fast food they were eating in the past, while it may have been very ­convenient, wasn’t particularly good for them.”



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