There’s something fresh in Jersey City. The Juice Box recently opened at 150 Bay Street in the lobby of CKO Boxing. The cafe, founded by a BNR Jersey City resident, specializes in organic juices and smoothies. It’s now open to the public, and the refreshing drinks can be ordered ahead. Read on for more about the latest addition to downtown Jersey City’s dining scene.
About Charlie Taylor
Jersey City native Charlie Taylor is a longtime coach and manager at CKO Boxing, located at 150 Bay Street. He has always been dedicated to fitness, starting as a tae kwon do competitor in his youth. “My first juice was actually beet juice,” he said, grimacing.
As he learned more about nutrition and athletic performance, the juices became tastier and he became more creative with the recipes. “I was like a mad scientist,” he said. “It’s always been about the athletic side” of what he can get out of juices and smoothies.
Charlie is also involved with the CKO Boxing location in Bayonne, and said that the team was always looking for something to offer students after class. “We were looking all over town for a good smoothie place, and we never found anything we really liked,” he said. “We were bringing out our blenders and whipping up whatever we could.”
At the same time that Charlie and the CKO team wanted to offer more to the athletes, a space opened up in the 150 Bay Street building. “We used to face the other side of the building, but the landlord had to renovate so our space got turned around, and now we face the other direction.” With that change in space came a sized-up lobby, perfect for a juice bar.
The space also doubles as an art gallery: the art on the walls is rotated every six months and is for sale. “We work with the building’s curator to display local artists,” Charlie said.
About The Juice Box
Even though The Juice Box opened just this week, it’s been a work in progress for quite literally years. “I’ve been thinking about doing something like this since before Covid,” he said. “It’s happened in stages, between Covid, the renovations, and then getting everything together here.”
Manager Alyssa Mullican is a Detroit, MI native but has lived in Jersey City for the past 12 years. She credits a juice-forward lifestyle for an incredible improvement in her physical health. “I’ve worked in bars for years and five years ago got into juicing, and found myself talking more about juices than drinks at the bar,” she said. “It’s been amazing to connect with people about juicing. To me, it’s so important to guide people and help them find the ingredients that can change their life.”
The smoothies and juices on the menu have benefits that anyone can enjoy. “That’s something about juicing that I think is so important,” Charlie said. “The nutrition is incredible for athletes and everyday people.”
Initially, the menu had thirty different choices. Charlie shared the menu with friends and family to narrow down the choices to the final selections. “We’re still working on it,” he said. “Trying to learn what people like, what gaps might be in the menu,”
Charlie’s favorite drink is the Almond Joy, a smoothie made with pink sea salt, almond butter, almond milk, avocado, cinnamon, and maple syrup.
Alyssa’s favorite drink is the Chilltown, a freshly-blended juice made with cucumber, pineapple, and spinach. “It’s bright green, which can surprise people, but it’s so refreshing and hydrating.” HG took Alyssa’s advice and tried this drink on a 90-degree day and can confirm its refreshing properties.
The Juice Box is open from Monday through Friday from 8AM to 8PM and on Saturdays from 9AM to 2PM. The Juice Box has freshly blended smoothies and juices in addition to a cooler of pomegranate and orange juices. Wheatgrass shots are available as well.