Cafe Society

Udi's Juice Bar, Cafe and Bakery opening January 22 at the University of Colorado-Denver campus

Soon, within the next few months, the clan behind Udi's Foods will open another full-service restaurant in a vacant space in the Lowenstein CulturePlex that, up until last April, housed Encore, Paul Reilly's former restaurant. But before that happens, Etai Bar-on, along with other members of his family, will unveil Udi's Juice Bar, Cafe and Bakery in the business school at the University of Colorado, Denver.

See also: - Udi's Colfax Pizza Bar taking over the former Encore space

"We already have a very busy restaurant in the lobby of the CU Medical Research Building on the Fitzsimons campus, and as an extension to that, the CU Business school asked us to open a smaller, more concise Udi's in the lobby of their new building on the corner of 15th and Lawrence," says Bar-on. "The building is awesome, and it'll hopefully be a nice additional amenity for the faculty and students, as well as the other people in the area," he adds.

The new cafe, while smaller than its counterparts, will continue to offer the Udi's signature line of sandwiches, salads and panini, along with java from Coda Coffee. And, says Bar-on, it'll also have its own in-house bakery -- a perk that the other Udi's locations don't have. "All of our other restaurants are getting daily pastry deliveries from our Louisville bakery but here, they'll be baked on site throughout the day and so very, very fresh."

In addition, this Udi's will boast its very own in-house "juice-tender" -- none of which the other Udi's has. "We're somewhat obsessed with trying to create a cuisine that's both healthy and delicious," says Bar-on, "and while we occasionally sneak in something really indulgent -- our fresh-baked butter croissants are 35 percent Plugra butter, for example -- we also have numerous nutrient-dense vegan and vegetarian options, and our new juicing menus will offer our guests even more healthy and delicious options."

Robin Bar-on, Etai's sister, and also the chef of Udi's, has been interested in initiating a juice concept for a long time, says her brother. "I think Robin has put together some attractive offerings that taste really, really good, and we're excited to try something new that I think helps us fulfill a promise of trying to be fresh, healthy and innovative as much as possible." He notes, too, that the cafe will "offer complete support for people who are doing juice fasts and want their juice delivered daily." All of the juice drinks, he points out, are vegan and gluten-free and made with organic fruits and vegetables.

Robin, he says, describes the new Udi's concept best: "She just says that this is our smallest and most robust concept yet -- a quick place to grab a fresh, high-quality breakfast or lunch, and where fresh juice or a smoothie can replace your meal or enhance it."

Udi's Juice Bar, Cafe and Bakery will be open Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The menus, for both the juice bar and the cafe, are on the following page.