Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Mysterious Departure of Booster Juice

Booster Juice, the popular smoothie bar on Nassau Street, quietly ended its nearly year-and-a-half stay in Princeton two weeks ago.

According to students on campus, the Nassau Street shop, which is part of a Canadian franchise, was plastered with yellow paper and did not open on June 8 or any day afterwards.

The Booster Juice website, however, still lists "166 Nassau Street" in Princeton, N.J., among its stores. Interview requests via e-mail and phone to confirm the information with the owner went unanswered.

"I don't know why Booster Juice closed, but I kind of saw it coming with the opening of Twist and the very long winter when no one ever wanted a smoothie," Mark Lock '11 said. "Its location is also quite far from central campus and nearer to the E-Quad people who are absolutely non-smoothie drinking people."

Booster Juice was located near 185 Nassau St., home to the Lewis Center for the Arts. Though it was the only smoothie shop in the area, the popular ice-cream shop Thomas Sweet is only a few feet away and several blocks away was the popular new froyo/yogurt store, Twist. Other competitors included Bent Spoon and Halo Pub ice cream.

In an interview with owner Michael Pulaski in late January, Pulaski noted that the recession had been taking a toll on his business with sales down by 15 percent, causing him to lay off all of his employees. He said he expected smoothie sales to revive in the summer.

Last month, the store did indeed have long lines and at least two employees working in the store, making its sudden departure quite baffling.

--Tasnim Shamma '11