Jar Bar Opens in Midtown Village (Finally!)

The owners of Catalyst Cleanse open a healthy lunch spot in the Gayborhood.

We already loved Jennifer Vanheeswyk and Joel Odhner for developing Catalyst Cleanse. Now we love them even more for opening up a juice bar and cafe!

Jar Bar, which officially opened on March 9th, has a large selection of cold-pressed juices and superfood smoothies that are packed with healthy ingredients. But that’s not all: they’ve got a food menu, too, and everything is 100 percent vegan, raw and gluten-free. Examples: salads galore (of course), a raw burger with jicama fries, sweet potato pasta and wraps that use collard leaves in place of a tortilla. Neat, right?

“Our vision is to bring another food option to the area,” Vanheeswyk says, adding that she wanted to make raw and vegan food more accessible to the masses. Vanheeswyk, who eats a restricted gluten- and dairy-free diet, found that “raw” food opened up a world of culinary opportunities—and that’s exactly what she wants to shares with customers.

After running Catalyst Cleanse for a few years, Vanheeswyk and Odher’s clients began to ask them when they were going to open a store, which is where the idea to open Jar Bar was born. They’d planned to open the cafe a year ago—you might recall some press about it—but they were unable to secure a loan. So they developed their own way of fundraising: they gave their customers the opportunity to invest $1,000 in Jar Bar and receive $1,500 worth of Catalyst dollars in return. That funded about half of the project; the other half came from personal investments from Vanheeswyk and Odher.

“We worked relentlessly and pursued our dream,” Vanheeswyk says. “We creatively financed the place one dollar at a time.”

Jar Bar, 113 South 12th Street, 215-923-1600.