Urban Juice Factory employee Tessa Johnson, right, assists a customer on Tuesday. The Montesano smoothie bar began an extended closure on Wednesday to begin a business expansion that will include a full-service kitchen. The business plans to re-open late this month. (Ryan Sparks | The Daily World)

Urban Juice Factory employee Tessa Johnson, right, assists a customer on Tuesday. The Montesano smoothie bar began an extended closure on Wednesday to begin a business expansion that will include a full-service kitchen. The business plans to re-open late this month. (Ryan Sparks | The Daily World)

Montesano smoothie bar closes for upgrades

The Urban Juice Factory smoothie cafe in Montesano has temporarily shut down as the business plans to implement upgrades, expand its menu and freshen its look.

According to owner Hannah Pierog, plans are underway to make several improvements and modifications to the business. They got started after the doors closed on Wednesday.

“We are getting all new art in, new dining equipment and copper glassware,” Cook said, adding that she plans on re-opening sometime in late September with a full-service kitchen. “We’re going to freshen things up. We have some moving around in our kitchen and some repainting going on. We are adding more storage so we are better able to handle the demands of a restaurant.”

The business also plans to serve beer and wine when it reopens later this month and has its sights set on securing a liquor license sometime in November to offer a full-service bar.

Cook said she has hired an executive chef to expand the business from a smoothie and juice bar that also offered paninis, sandwiches and salads to a full-service kitchen with rotating menu.

“We are getting a whole new menu,” explained Cook, who added the food will feature what she calls “elevated comfort food.”

“We are going to be doing everything in-house, so nothing will be pre-made. … We are going to have vegan options, seafood and things like that. But our menu will change and rotate every quarter to hopefully keep it fresh for everyone.”

Cook said she has been hard at work to make sure the menu is as fresh and locally-focused as possible.

“We’re working with a lot of great local people,” she said. “Our hope would be to use as many local farms as possible.”

She’s been working with mixologists to create a specialized drink menu in anticipation of opening a full bar in November.

Closing a small business down temporarily is a risk during a pandemic that has already led to government induced restrictions and lock-downs, but Cook remains optimistic that now is the right time to expand the business.

“With anything right now, being a small business owner is scary,” Cook admitted. “Times are pretty uncertain and you don’t really know what is going to happen. But we chose to remain optimistic. It’s something we really want to see happen and I think the Harbor needs it a little bit more now than ever. … Hopefully, we can provide a little bit of comfort and add some value to the community because the community has been really great to us.”

 

Freshly made Happy Drink, left, and Pink Drink Juice smoothies are ready for pickup at the Urban Juice Factory on Tuesday in Montesano. The business has temporarily closed as it undergoes upgrades before re-opening later this month. (Ryan Sparks | The Daily World)

Freshly made Happy Drink, left, and Pink Drink Juice smoothies are ready for pickup at the Urban Juice Factory on Tuesday in Montesano. The business has temporarily closed as it undergoes upgrades before re-opening later this month. (Ryan Sparks | The Daily World)

Urban Juice Factory Katherine Streifel blends a smoothie on Tuesday. The business will be closed until late September as plans to upgrade are underway. (Ryan Sparks | The Daily World)

Urban Juice Factory Katherine Streifel blends a smoothie on Tuesday. The business will be closed until late September as plans to upgrade are underway. (Ryan Sparks | The Daily World)