Neighborhood Eats 2015
Roots on Tap

New Dallas juice bar squeezes healthy food and drink into Expo Park

New Dallas juice bar squeezes healthy food and drink into Expo Park

Urban Harvest's 13th Annual Fruit Tree Sale
Expo Park gets juicy with the opening of Roots on Tap.

Exposition Park gets a tiny bit healthier with Roots on Tap, a new juice bar offering juices and smoothies, opening on Parry Avenue next to Rob's Chop Shop.

Roots will do fresh juices, nut milks, smoothies, and an in-between category called "blends." In a unique twist, the menu will be seasonal in nature, featuring whatever fruits are in season.

Owner Nicole Allen left the corporate world on a mission to help people get their daily fix of essential nutrients.

"My background is in finance and accounting," she says. "My former manager was drinking the green drinks. I started doing more research and taking nutrition classes, and learned that the average American does not consume enough fruits and vegetables."

She started making green drinks for herself, and noticed she felt better and had more energy.

"I never thought of it as a business; it was just for me," she says. "But then other people started noticing a change. My coworkers wanted the green drinks, so I would make them for them too. It was a lot of fun. Then I noticed I was making 15 a day and thought, 'Wait a minute.'"

Green drinks are a special category of juice that go beyond the old-school strawberry-banana smoothie.

"The whole goal with green drinks is to get more vegetables, but with a pleasant taste," she says. "It consists of green vegetables, as well as some additional fruit. That’s what you're getting. Vegetables like spinach, kale, chard, cabbage, and broccoli — we don't eat enough of them."

She has what she calls "beginner drinks," which are refreshing and light, such as orange, apple, and grape juice, and then a category she calls "Lucy juicy," with root vegetables such as carrot. She also has smoothies with yogurt, and nut milks, which is not something everyone has.

Aside from the location, where few juice bars have gone, she has some other unique assets.

"Some of the other juice stores focus on a plan, where my concept is focused on daily intake of fruits and vegetables," she says. "This is more about lifestyle, about simply getting more fruits and vegetables."

And then there is her seasonal focus. "We'll try to follow fruits and vegetables in season, so that it's not always the same thing," she says.

The Expo Park branch opens in about two weeks, and she'll follow that up with another branch in the Thanksgiving Tower at 1627 Pacific Ave. in downtown Dallas, which she anticipates will open in January. In addition to juices, she'll also serve a couple of light snacks, including house-made granola.

"But juices are our mainstay," she says. "We're about the beverage."