Jrink, Press and Green Hope squeeze into D.C.’s juice scene

Dabren Wills, 31, ordered up a six-pack last week, so he’d be ready for good times — and good produce. Since he’s started regularly downing concoctions from Jrink Juicery, which opened recently in Dupont Circle, he’s noticed improvements in his energy level, memory and digestion. “And I like supporting new businesses,” Willis says. He’s in luck: D.C. has a bumper crop of home-grown ways to drink veggies.


Jrink has expanded its menu just in time for the opening of its first storefront location — here are three new options. (Teddy Wolff/For Express)

Jrink
1323 Connecticut Ave. NW (inside Epic Yoga); open Mon.-Fri 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat. and Sun. 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; jrinkjuicery.com

“Jrink” is pronounced exactly like “drink.” That’s useful, because D.C.’s busy bees don’t have the time to learn how to say new words. And they have even less time to make sure they’re eating well. Jennifer Ngai and Shizu Okusa, who were both working at the World Bank until a few months ago, understand that reality. It’s why they decided to make and sell cold-pressed juices last year.

“We’re all life pressed,” Ngai says. “This is healthy convenience in a bottle.” (A heavy glass bottle that can be recycled — return 10 and get a free Jrink.)

Don’t know what each Jrink ($8.75) is good for? Just read the labels. The names spell it out: “Fuel Me Up” is a blend of pear, kale, romaine, cucumber and lemon; “Wake Me Up” combines orange, carrot, grapefruit and ginger.

Fans (including Nats star Bryce Harper) no longer need to wait for delivery, or hope bottles are stocked at one of the company’s retail partners. Jrink just opened its first location, a sweet spot with a couch, free Wi-Fi and a stellar view. It’s tucked inside Epic Yoga, so you can even get a side of exercise — if you have the time.


Press juices are made on the spot, from ingredients customers can see. (Teddy Wolff/For Express)

Press
1630 14th St. NW (inside BodySmith Gym and Studios); for hours and more information, visit press14.com

All the juices at Press are 100 percent organic and fresh, general manager Ben Blue brags as he grabs beets, carrots, apples, celery and ginger from the clear bins behind him. Those are the ingredients he sends through a centrifugal juicer to make a No. 2 ($8), an early customer favorite at the sleek spot in front of BodySmith Gym.

BodySmith owner Stuart Smith and member Jim Reichert paired up for the project, which they hope will be the first of many locations. They’re still hammering out the food menu. But when it comes to the juices, Press will follow a simple formula: Always get the fruits and veggies that taste the best.

The menu board suggests a few blends, but customers can also mix and match from what’s available, or even order like they would at a bar. (Say “I want something cucumber-y,” and Blue will hook you up.)

Smith is eager for his exercisers to taste the Press protein shake ($7) made with spinach, blueberries, coconut water and raw vegan protein powder: “Nobody is doing juice like this.”

Another novel idea that’s coming soon? Made-to-order margarita mix to take home.

Customers can also look forward to enjoying their juices in outdoor seating along 14th Street.


Co-founder Abu Sesay calls Green Hope smoothies a healthy indulgence. (Teddy Wolff/For Express)

Green Hope Smoothie
At the FreshFarm Market by the White House (810 Vermont Ave. NW); 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on Thursdays through Oct. 30

When Emir Frisby started drinking smoothies for his health, his friend Abu Sesay told him to stop it. Those things are too high in sugar, he protested.

But Sesay, the owner of Absway Fitness, changed his mind when he learned Frisby’s smoothies were homemade and packed with a certain leafy green. (“We’re so pro-spinach,” says Sesay, who has the Popeye-sized muscles to prove it.)

The two D.C. natives set out to perfect the recipe and come up with other flavors. Before long, Sesay’s clients who’d tasted samples were begging for more. And the Green Hope Smoothie Co. was born.

Its official debut came April 10, when the FreshFarm Market by the White House opened for the season. Frisby and Sesay are there every Thursday, regaling shoppers with the multitude of benefits in each $6 bottle.

The ingredients — including pressed juices, fruit purees, Greek yogurt and green coffee bean extract — create “a goodness you can taste and feel,” Sesay says.

Green Hope plans to launch mobile smoothie carts this summer, and introduce another (secret, for now) veggie-based treat.

 

More health stories from Express:
JJ Smith inspires thousands to try her ’10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse’

Recipe to Refresh: DIY, Natural Skin Care

Daily dose of chocolate: Will Clower’s prescription for better health

Vicky Hallett is a MisFits columnist and the Fit editor for Express.
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