Organic Avenue, the OG New York City juice bar born out of a Lower East Side apartment in 2000 that’s grown to 10 locations to date, is allegedly closing its doors permanently today at closing according to an article on Eater.
The former juice giant, known for its orange tote bags spotted on chic women across the city (and hundreds of tourists who proudly visited the NYC juice landmark), has been in turmoil lately, being just sold in a cashless deal to Vested Capital Partners who apparently couldn’t keep it afloat among the sea of newer cold-pressed juice brands.
Raw food and juice visionary Denise Mari founded what would become Organic Avenue out of her Ludlow Street apartment 15 years ago, branching out from glass bottled juice cleanses to a pioneering retail presence with a handful of stores across Manhattan, including the flagship Space of LOVE.
“Organic Avenue was created to inspire, spark interest, and support entry into and maintenance of a compassionate plant-based lifestyle,” Mari says. “We served hundreds of thousands of customers over a ten-year period, inspired hundreds of entrepreneurs to launch new businesses, and influenced millions of people in positive ways. It breaks my heart to know that a lot of wonderful people have lost their jobs, but I am confident that they will soon find another opportunity to spread our LOVE [Live Organic Vegan Experience] philosophy around the world. There are infinite lessons to be learned from this and I am excited about the possibilities and the future.”
In 2013, she and partner Doug Evans sold Organic Avenue to investment firm Weld North in 2013, who hired a former Pret A Manger exec to oversee operations. Major changes included new stores, more lunch options, and nationwide shipping (with HPP). Which leads us to ask, is less sometimes more for the juice industry?
(On the other hand, super indie juice company Heartbeet Juicery also announced they’re closing shop today, so there seems to be some trouble brewing in general in juice paradise.)
We’ve reached out to Organic Avenue for comment and have yet to hear back. But in the meantime run and grab yourself a collard wrap from Organic Avenue for lunch today while you still can. They basically popularized the healthy grab-and-go recipe—and the raw vegan lifestyle across Manhattan. —Jamie McKillop
For more information, visit organicavenue.com
(Photo: Instagram.com/Maria_Marlowe; Denise Mari)