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UES Gets Juicier With Smoothies and Raw Food Shop

By Amy Zimmer | August 19, 2011 7:39am
David Antebi, whose son started the Juice Press, will run the third outpost of the company on the Upper East Side.
David Antebi, whose son started the Juice Press, will run the third outpost of the company on the Upper East Side.
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DNAinfo/Amy Zimmer

UPPER EAST SIDE — David Antebi is a convert to the Juice Press's cold-pressed juices, gourmet smoothies, raw chocolate and the "schmear" — homemade vegan rosemary cream cheese with marinated cucumbers on a grain bagel.

When his son, Marcus, founded the company that espouses an organic raw food diet and opened his first of two East Village locations, Antebi saw the 300-square-foot space and said, "I'm going to have to support my son for the rest of his life."

Instead, the shop took off immediately. Now his son has gotten his father out of a two-year retirement from the antiques business to run a third Juice Press store, on Third Avenue and East 62nd Street.

"Now he's the boss," Antebi said.

The Upper East Side shop will have a soft opening next Thursday, with its official opening on Sept. 1, said Antebi.

"My son wanted to save my life," said Antebi, 69, who 10 weeks ago started his mostly raw food diet. He said he's lost 19 pounds.

"The chia pudding is amazing," Antebi said.

When asked what that was, he said, "The hell do I know? Chia nuts or something. But it's absolutely delicious."

According to the Juice Press menu, the chia seed pudding has soaked raw organic seeds, cashew nut milk and crushed walnuts.

Antebi, who lives nearby, is excited to open on the Upper East Side — and the neighborhood seems excited for the Juice Press. A steady stream of people walked into the unfinished store on Thursday.

Unlike another recent addition to the neighborhood, the Second Avenue Deli, which boasts of its "Instant Heart Attack Sandwich" (pastrami, corned beef or turkey stacked between two potato latkes), the Juice Press is all about abstention and detox. It sells various juice cleanse packages that are popular with weight loss seekers.

It also promotes a diet of mostly raw foods, which Antebi said he's following 95 percent of the time.

"To commit, you have to eliminate certain things," he said. "No alcohol, no dairy, no coffee."

Antebi said his son was inspired Dr. Fred Bisci, a nutrition counselor and octogenarian who runs every morning on the beaches of Staten Island.

"My son is 42 and has the energy of a 25-year-old. I'm 69. I have the energy of a 90-year-old," he said with a laugh.

Smoothies run from $7 to a steep $15 for the "Guru," which has coconut meat and water, whole blended apple, vegan dha omega oil, goji berries, banana, blueberry, hemp protein powder and raw cacao.

Antebi insisted, "There's nothing like a Guru."

He is hopeful the new outpost he's going to run will be popular in the area.

"It's affluent people, people who are health conscious, a lot of young mothers who want to stay healthy and older people like myself who want to stay healthy," he said.

"People have been wanting this. People need this. It really is a healthy product. It's the antithesis of McDonald's and all that fast food."

The Juice Press is looking for other locations such as the Upper West Side, Antebi noted.

"The plan is to open five more by the end of the year in New York City," he said.