Charlotte’s long been a place known for its love of BBQ, fried chicken and biscuits. But the city’s appetite for fresh squeezed juices, smoothies and açaí bowls seems to be growing, too.
Clean Juice Bar will soon open new locations in SouthPark, Plaza Midwood, uptown Charlotte and Fort Mill. Other previously announced locations will also open soon in Davidson and South End. The expansion comes about six months after founders Kat and Landon Eckles decided to start franchising their concept.
After moving down to the Lake Norman area from New Jersey in the summer of 2014, the Eckles opened their first Clean Juice in Birkdale Village in 2015. The couple recently welcomed their fifth child, and Kat, who has been juicing for about nine years, says the desire to eat healthy while maintaining a busy lifestyle was part of the inspiration for the concept.
“I’m busy, I have a lot of kids. Generally when you’re eating out, you’re eating crap. People want to eat out, but they want to eat healthy,” Eckles said. The juice bar, which sells plant-based juices, smoothies and snacks, has other N.C. locations in Concord, Northlake and Stonecrest.
Juice and smoothie bars are popping up all around Charlotte. Among others, One Life Raw Juice Bar opened in Myers Park in the fall of 2015, Juice Bar opened in 2015 in the Park Road Shopping Center and a concept called A Green Brothers Juice Co. is planned for the new development in Dilworth near Food Lion.
“It’s getting more competitive, but that’s a good thing right? It’s a growing sector,” Eckles said.
The leases for the new juice bars in SouthPark, Plaza Midwood and uptown are still being worked out, local franchisees said. Here are the locations of the others:
▪ South End: 1616 Camden Road (next to Price’s Chicken Coop) – opening mid-April
▪ Fort Mill: Kingsley Town Center at 1329 Broadcloth St., Building 10, Suite 102 – opening mid-June
▪ Davidson: The Linden at 605 Jetton St. – opening this spring