Smooth operators: Bodega's juice bar nearly complete

Bodega on Central's expanded juice bar and indoor seating will debut to the masses next weekend.

click to enlarge Bodega's new juice bar is housed at 1114 Central Ave. next door to the restaurant. - James Ostrand
James Ostrand
Bodega's new juice bar is housed at 1114 Central Ave. next door to the restaurant.

Next weekend, Debbie and George Sayegh, owners of Bodega on Central in St. Petersburg, will open the juice bar they've been installing next door to their Cuban eatery since around February.

The additional building will also give the restaurant indoor seating options.

According to Debbie, Bodega isn't trying to compete with other juice establishments in the region.

click to enlarge Bodega chef Kaylie Birdsall. - James Ostrand
James Ostrand
Bodega chef Kaylie Birdsall.

She said the expanded juice bar is completely different than spots like Squeeze Juice Works, which caters to die-hard juicers with its cold-pressed liquids.

"We're here to have fun," Sayegh said, "Drink some tasty juice and smoothies."

While the bar's menu isn't complete yet, Sayegh said there will be flavors listed that diners may choose from — including a juice called Dropping Mad Beets with beet, apple, ginger and carrot — but that they'll also be able to customize and build their own drinks.

Sayegh said batidas, which are listed on the juice bar's bill of fare, consist of fruit mixed with milk.

"It's like a Latin milkshake," she said.

All the drinks will come in one size, 16 ounces.

click to enlarge The space's blue sliding door was crafted by metal artist Frank Strunk. - James Ostrand
James Ostrand
The space's blue sliding door was crafted by metal artist Frank Strunk.

In June, Sayegh told CL that Bodega would add the tempeh sandwich and Cuban burger, which originally launched as specials, to its permanent menu. And the restaurant has.  

"The burger is what's really gotten people in there," Sayegh said.

The Sayeghs' plans for the back portion of their new space are still the same, she said. However, Bodega will focus on its dining area out front and redo its back patio first.

"We want to take our time," she said. "I think it'll be a bigger project than we imagine."

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