Charlottesville’s juice scene continues to spill all over town and other restaurant news

Juice Laundry owner Mike Keenan is gearing up to open a coffee shop-style juiceteria in the Coca-Cola building on Preston Avenue. Photo: Elli Williams Juice Laundry owner Mike Keenan is gearing up to open a coffee shop-style juiceteria in the Coca-Cola building on Preston Avenue. Photo: Elli Williams

Liquid lunching

Rainbows of cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juice have been popping up on grocery store shelves left and right, and by the end of summer, Charlottesville will be home to at least two new juice bars.

When he wasn’t pressing leafy green vegetables and pineapples into bottled concoctions in the Carpe Donut kitchen at McIntire Plaza, Juice Laundry owner Mike Keenan let his creative juices flow. For the past several months he’s been coming up with menu items and design ideas for the café-style juice bar he plans to open in the historic Coca Cola bottling plant building this summer. In addition to the sturdy glass bottles full of the juices and nut milks Juice Laundry has been churning out for two years, the new spot will feature a full vegan menu, including salads, power bars, made-to-order smoothies and a juice of the day.

“Really what we’re hoping to do is kind of show people the wide variety of plant-based options that are out there,” Keenan said. “You can have a filling lunch without the chicken or steak on your salad.”

The menu will also feature non-alcoholic cocktail-type drinks, like juices blended with local kombucha or iced green tea. Customers can have a sit-down meal or snack at a table, but the shop will also include a lounge area, which Keenan hopes will give the space a casual, comfortable, coffee shop feel that’s appealing to everybody—not just the granola-crunching yogis who already drink juice blends for breakfast every morning.

“Obviously we hope to appeal to people who are vegetarian and vegan,” Keenan said. “But we also want to bring in people who are just curious about it, or maybe even a little bit skeptical about what the possibilities and range of options are.”

We’ve also heard rumblings about a juice bar coming to the Belmont area—more on that next week.

Magnum pi(e)

March 14 has forever been celebrated by math nerds as Pi Day, and this year, the masterminds behind The Pie Guy are getting a slice of the action.

Owner Justin Bagley and chef Joel Myers are rolling out a never-before-seen (or tasted) variety of pie that will only be available on this year’s Pi Day—which just happens to fall on the same day as Starr Hill Brewery’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration. On Saturday, March 14, The Pie Guy cart (which offers lunch from 11am to 2pm at UVA’s amphitheater Monday-Friday) will be stationed at Starr Hill from 11am to 7pm, serving up the regular menu, some St. Patty’s Day-themed sides and a very limited number of a specialty pie that won’t be available again until 2016.

“You know how some breweries have a beer that is released just one day out of the year, something they really worked hard on and made special for that one day?” Bagley said. “That’s kind of what we’re trying to do with pie.”

As for what exactly that pie is going to be, that’s up to you guys. Bagley and Myers came up with five different varieties, and they want you to vote for the one that sounds the best.

The contestants are:

Beer-braised short ribs with three-cheese polenta

Carne asada with chipotle crema drizzle, with a side of avocado salad

Braised pork belly with sweet soy glaze, with a side of pickled vegetables

Creamy shrimp and grits, Tasso ham and charred tomatoes

Authentic Chinese chicken and mixed vegetables with carrot curry sauce drizzle, topped with crispy shallots

Check out The Pie Guy’s Facebook page for full descriptions and cast your vote; you’ve got until mid-morning on Friday. And choose carefully—whichever one wins will become the official Pi Day pie for the foreseeable future.

Seeing green

You’re not Irish. And no one’s going to kiss you. Hell you probably don’t even know why you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in the first place. But C’ville’s got its share o’ places that’ll serve you good grub and beer on March 17, so all’s not lost.

To fill your belly before your big night of inebriation, hit the newest Irish pub in C’ville, The Tin Whistle. The public house will feature a sing-along with Irish Matthew, Blue Ridge Irish Music School dancers, the Albemarle Pipe Corps and The Moody Brews to entertain you while you enjoy your traditional Irish fare. The Tin Whistle’s owners will facilitate easy migration to their other establishment, Fellini’s #9, with a regularly departing Paddy Wagon.

For the old standard of local green day galas, try McGrady’s Irish Pub any time between March 12 and March 17. The Irish-themed bar will have festive eats and tunes throughout the week, with the big throwdowns—a full slate of traditional Irish music, face painting for the kiddos and Guinness by the pot-full—coming on Saturday and Tuesday.