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The Daily Northwestern

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Amid global expansion, Joe & The Juice sets up shop in Evanston

Shun Graves/The Daily Northwestern
Just more than a month since his store opened, Quran Murray works the counter at Joe & The Juice on Central Street.

Denmark-based Joe & The Juice has expanded to more than a dozen countries since its founding in 2002, but its Illinois footprint remained confined to downtown Chicago until February.

Enter Evanston.

“The younger audience loves us too,” said Quran Murray, who manages the chain’s new Evanston outpost. “Northwestern is right over there.”

Located in a renovated Central Street storefront, the upscale coffee, shake and sandwich purveyor made its first foray into Chicago’s suburbs on Feb. 15. So far, business has fared “better than we expected,” Murray said, in what could prove a test for the upscale chain’s staying power outside the city center.

Evanston resident Ellisa Cole stopped by Joe & The Juice for the first time Saturday afternoon.

“For people that are more into the juices and healthier drink options and food options, it might be really perfect for them,” she said.

Cole sat at a window-side table with a cup of tea because the store didn’t have the creamer she sought. Still, Cole called the earthy-toned space “gorgeous” and said she might return. 

Joe & The Juice sells various coffees, avocado-based sandwiches and juice options that range from an “Energizer” to “Stress Down” and “Prince of Green” to “Iron Man” — a descriptor that could also fit the new gym in the same building.

The newly redeveloped, two-story 1801 Central St. building also includes a budding wellness gym that could synergize with Joe & The Juice, Murray said. A door connects the two spaces, and once a temporary dividing wall comes down, drinking a cup of joe could come with a view of gym exercises, he added.

“Some of the guys in here from the gym are here a lot, and just talking to them about the plans, it’s mind-boggling,” Murray said. “Obviously that’s going to be good for business for us — but for them as well. People who go to the gym, work out, come to us, get a protein shake and a sandwich, it’s a good combination.”

The gym is not the only Central Street collaboration with Joe & The Juice. The store’s interior features local art, and Joe & The Juice sits next to Hewn, an artisan bread bakery. Though Joe & The Juice offers a few pastries, Murray called the neighboring establishments a “combination” because of the store’s focus on drinks.

The cafe-juicery arrives in a bustling business district centered on the Central Street Metra station. Joe & The Juice’s arrival added a “great vibe” to the area, Central Street Evanston Community Director Angela Shaffer said in an email to The Daily.

Murray, who lives in Evanston, previously managed one of Joe & The Juice’s Chicago locations and said the new outpost could offer a blueprint for the chain’s suburban push.

“This was definitely a test site to see, can we step outside of urban Chicago?” Murray said. “I think the success of this store showed that we can, for sure.”

Email: [email protected]

X: @realShunGraves

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