James Seyba's new healthy, fast-casual spot, Jamie's Juice Bar & Kitchen, is stocked with a hodgepodge of fresh fruits and vegetables. Behind the counter, Seyba whips up fresh-pressed juices, smoothies, and wheatgrass shots, as well as an assortment of small plates to curb customers' morning or midday hunger.
"Opening is so nerve-racking and exciting at the same time," he says. "There have been lots of sleepless nights."
The tiny eatery, located in the Lincoln Park shopping plaza in Hollywood (6856 Stirling Rd.), measures only about 1,000 square feet. Featuring a wide counter, a partially open kitchen, and limited seating, the space isn't large enough to fit a fryer or grill, which is why Seyba is concentrating on slow food cooked with little preparation.
The menu revolves around fresh produce. Instead of holding powders and additives, shelves are packed with pineapples, oranges, watermelon, and bananas. Seyba also grows some of his ingredients in-house, including microgreens and small herbs.
Daily offerings are written on a large black chalkboard, giving him the flexibility to tweak the menu. He describes it as ever-evolving.
In neat blue, purple, pink, and yellow handwriting, specials are jotted on the left wall. There's "the Ry-Ry" ($12), a prosciutto and mozzarella pressed sandwich drizzled with balsamic vinegar; vegetable noodles ($7) tossed in a vegan sunflower oil; and smashed avocado toast ($6) topped with dill from his garden.
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Though February 1 marks his spot's first day of business, Seyba already hopes to attract regular customers daily and weekly. While he was the executive chef at Miam Café in Wynwood, he yearned to find work closer to home and run his own restaurant, a longtime dream.
"I'm excited about creating a loyal following," he says. "My wife and I have a baby due in March too, so I'm excited about spending time with my family. This gives me the ability to do both."
Seyba also previously worked at the Broken Shaker, 27 Restaurant & Bar, and Centro Taco. He left Miam Café in November to open Jamie's Juice Bar & Kitchen.
Hours are Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; the eatery is closed Sunday.