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Posted on Wed, Dec 8, 2010 : 3:05 p.m.

Beyond Juice restaurant announces plans to close on East Liberty in Ann Arbor

By Paula Gardner

Beyond Juice reopened on Ann Arbor's East Liberty in late January - but the effort will last less than a year.

The smoothie restaurant - known for its "meal in a cup" - will close on Dec. 17.

A store employee said the shop "is just going out of business."

Plymouth residents Maureen and Michael Policella took over the store at 529 E. Liberty St. in January. It had been open under previous ownership since summer 2008. Original sales projections for the Ann Arbor location were up to $50,000 per month.

The Policellas tried to place a greater emphasis on raw juice as they repositioned the store. The menu also included smoothies and sandwiches.

During the summer, Bona Coffee announced that it was opening its first location in Ann Arbor in a portion of Beyond Juice. That co-branding attempt never took place.

Employees said they're preparing some promotional events as the restaurant prepares to close, offering specials to customers as the staff uses up supplies.

The Beyond Juice corporate structure has faced court challenges, according to bloggers who track the chain and its franchisees.

The space on East Liberty, located in the Michigan Theater Building, is 1,850 square feet.



Thu, Dec 9, 2010 : 4:25 p.m.

This is really sad, it is more than just another store closing. The local owners invested a substantial sum into this store. It includes things like hopes and dreams, life savings, and SBA loans which might include homes as collateral. Extraordinarily sad. Blaming the bloggers for this is like shooting the messenger for trying to save folks from this heartache. I have never found a Beyond Juice store that is paying the rent and labor, let alone a return on investment. Please do not waste your money on one of these stores. Paul of Redding, a former store owner.


Thu, Dec 9, 2010 : 9:53 a.m.

The menu may have been intimidating and I understand ShadowManager's comments about over-saturation, but I always got great service at Beyond Juice and it was a nice place to pick up a wheatgrass show that wasn't way overpriced (I'm looking at you Seva) so I'll miss them regardless. As for the hamburger places, I've been addicted to 5 Guys for a few years now, so here's to hoping that they're still around long after @Burger is just a memory.

Macabre Sunset

Thu, Dec 9, 2010 : 4:48 a.m.

The smoothie menu was intimidating. And the smoothies far too large for one sitting. I got the sense I was paying for an experience that had little value to me rather than a meal. It wasn't the most comfortable setting - they weren't using their space very effectively. Far cheaper to get the excellent Bolthouse Farm smoothies at the grocery.


Wed, Dec 8, 2010 : 11:51 p.m.

Is it anyone's surprise that all the faddie chain food places (Cosi, Beyond Juice, all the forgotten gelato places...) hopefully all these cheeseburger places that are blowing into town...) are going belly-up in the State/Liberty nexus, where there's identical restaurants ever 5 feet? Over-saturation at its finest. Hopefully, all the burger places will get the hint when the same tumbleweeds that blew through all the sub shops of yesteryear...blow through them next after about a year of business.