Pioneering juice bar and healthy-food favorite The Gem has a new location in the works, at one of Dallas' busiest intersections: Preston Road and Forest Lane. According to owner Leslie Needleman, the second branch will open in mid- to late February, at the northwest corner in what used to be Muzzies Dressy Dresses.
Where other juice bars have come and gone, The Gem has prevailed.
"The month after we opened our first branch at Preston Center, people were already asking, 'Are you going to open another location?'" Needleman says. "We feel like opening a branch in the Preston-Forest area is something we can manage really well. That area was actually on our list before we opened our first location."
"[Preston-Forest] was actually on our list before we opened our first location," says Gem owner Leslie Needleman.
The Gem's real first location was a shop-within-a-shop, inside Duo, the high-end kitchen supply shop from Shinsei owners Tracy Rathbun and Lynae Fearing. When it closed in 2013, the juice bar moved to its own standalone space in Preston Center.
Taking over a former dress shop meant building plumbing facilities, and the space is much bigger than Preston Center. "We'll have more disco balls," Needleman quips.
They'll do the same menu of juices, smoothies, salads, soups, hummus and other healthful snacks. "We are 100 percent organic," Needleman says. "Nothing that we serve is something we don't believe in. Our recipes are not only consistent, but also have some health and therapeutic value."
They're also big on service.
"We have created a community," she says. "We know people's names and know what they order. And we try to make it easy. Preston Center is a challenge, but we've created an app and can run what you order out to you."
They do two kinds of juices. The first is made to order in a blender, where you can specify what you want, to be consumed immediately. The second is a cold-pressed juice, made in a big press, which you can take to go.
"Cold-press juices are more nutrient dense and yield richer enzyme concentration," she says. "The enzymes are good for 72 hours, so you are able to take them with you and they're more easily incorporated into your day.
"I like to say that the juices made to order are an A, and a cold-press juice is an A+."