Welcome back to Alternative Dining, a monthly column by Jen Chiu that explores the unconventional dining and drinking scene in Seattle, whether that be pop-up, food truck, gastro-brewpub or underground dinner party. Got a suggestion? Leave it in the comments or send it to the tipline.[Photos: S. Pratt]
In less than a year and a half, Juicebox owners Kari Brunson and Brandin Myett have extended their juice cleanse business from farmers market stands at the Capitol Hill Broadway and Queen Anne locations to a pop-up juice shop at La Bete. Now, they are onto their next venture — opening a 25-seat restaurant in a former interior design space on 12th and Pine on Capitol Hill (1517 12th Ave).
The new spot, which is slated to open in the fall (if all of the permits and other logistics cooperate), will feature their juices, a vegetable-centric menu, and booze.
The couple met while working at Ethan Stowell's Anchovies & Olives so opening a place nearby seems like the type of thing karma would smile upon.
Did the two expect such a fast evolution? Brunson says:
No way. Juicebox didn't start as a business decision. It was a lifestyle decision. When you work at a restaurant, you work late and end up eating dinner late and drinking. Brandin and I have both always been into health and wellness (Brunson is a former professional ballet dancer and both she and Myett have always been into yoga), so we started juicing as a way to incorporate more balance and health into our lives. Her response to skeptics who think juicing is just the latest fad:
If you look at the cuisine of any new Michelin-starred restaurant, you will see the menus are increasingly becoming more vegetable- based. In Mark Bittman's new book VB6, the New York Times columnist talks about the benefits of eating vegan before 6 pm. Plant and vegetable-based dining is becoming the new standard. If you've got a juicer stereotype in your head, you may be thinking Brunson and Myett's new digs will be tricked out with incense, statues of the Buddha and Om shanti wallpaper. Not to worry. The hip juice mavens have more of an urban design aesthetic. Picture a lighter and more feminine version of La Bete, Brunson says.
Until the new place opens, you can still find Juicebox at their pop-up at La Bete on Saturdays and Sundays for brunch. The couple also guest chef at The Pantry at Delancey, with classes such as Paella and Cool Food for Hot Days. Sign up quick, though. Some of the classes are already sold out.