MOTT HAVEN — Juicing in the South Bronx will soon mean more than questionable decisions made by Major League Baseball players.
A cold-pressed juice bar called Born is on its way to the borough and should arrive at 137th Street and Third Avenue by the beginning of next year, according to Henry Obispo, who is spearheading the business.
He intends to make the menu very nutritious and have it feature drinks that include an apple-pineapple-kale blend and a mixture of cucumber, celery, romaine, spinach, kale and lemon.
"I’m very health conscious, and I’ve been literally juicing since I was 4 years old," Obispo said, "so it’s a very natural business for me. I like the nutritional factor of it."
The juice bar will be right in the middle of an area of the South Bronx that is the epicenter of the borough's gentrification debate and that has already seen the arrival of new amenities including a coffee shop, sushi restaurant and fashion boutique.
Obispo said he expected some people to decry his juice bar as another sign of gentrification but stressed that he was from the borough himself and views Born as a way to make it a healthier place.
"I’m from The Bronx, so I don’t think that health should be exclusive. I think we all deserve to have options, so I’m ready for whoever will debate that because I’m actually very passionate about that," he said. "So I know there will be detractors and whatnot, but I welcome them."
He intends to make Born a very community focused eatery with a business plan that includes developing local rooftop gardens to grow fruits and vegetables for the bar, offering yoga classes to the neighborhood and putting on healthy food demos and cooking classes.
"It’s the kind of business that we need in the area," Obispo said.
Born is not the only way that Obispo is trying to make the South Bronx a healthier place. He is also helping put together the "Bronx Salad," a combination of mixed greens, red peppers, red onions, olives, tomatoes, corn, black beans, plantain chips, mango and avocado that he and others are hoping to have served in restaurants, bodegas and schools throughout the borough.
He described bringing and pushing for more healthy food options in the South Bronx as his purpose and expressed frustration that being able to eat well has become a sign of privilege.
"It shouldn’t be like that, and I want to be the person that breaks that," he said. "I want to make it accessible because it should be accessible, and I don’t believe that the population doesn’t want it. They just don’t have it."