North Texas Daily

New year, new venue

New year, new venue

Amber Nasser

New year, new venue
January 19
17:14 2017

Kyle Martin | Senior Staff Writer

After a recent expansion, the Juice Lab, located off of Elm Street, will become one of Denton’s newest music venues. The Juice Lab will begin to host live music, art, comedy and open-mics on the weekends.

The expansion, which took over part of what used to be the Twisted Bodies Pilates and Yoga building, has added roughly a 1,000 square-feet and will house more seats, a new menu, local art installations and a stage for open mic nights, featured artists and acts. Apart from these additions, a full-size kitchen adds more opportunity for more organic, vegetarian and vegan food and juice options.

Within the past year, J&J’s Basement, Rubber Gloves and Hailey’s have closed down as music venues. Denton’s music community has come together recently to discuss concerns related to the closures, and the Juice Lab owners Loni Puckett, 33, and Brandon Williams, 39, were listening.

Puckett and Williams said that with several recent venue closures around town in the past year, they wanted their restaurant to become a “melting pot” of creative space.

“We’re not just wanting to be a stage, but a place for all kinds of art for people to show their creative sides,” Williams said. “From time to time we’ve had a lot of different friends who are artists, so we want to put different peoples’ art up and change it up every so often.”

The Juice Lab got its start at the Denton Community Market selling their homemade, healthy products to locals on the weekends.

“She’s got the brains and I know how to paint,” Williams said of their startup.

(Caption) The Juice Lab will soon be holding live music, open mic nights and local acts on the stage of their new expansion, which is still under construction. Amber Nasser

After finding both success and people interested in their juice and healthy products, they decided to open the Juice Lab, which opened Feb. 5, 2016. 

“We kind of saw our following grow there, so we just wanted to kind of do the same thing, really,” Puckett said. “[We wanted to] open the space up to the community and let other people have their chance.”
Live music became an option for the restaurant after Puckett and Williams previously hosted “block parties.” During these events, the duo invited live bands and artists to perform in the parking lot of their business on stages and infront of a crowd. The block parties had live artists painting along to the music as well as a community board where anyone could add to the art.

“It’s always been so much fun, and it’s got bigger every time,” Puckett said. “We just kind of employ local musicians, so that can range from jazz to DJ’s to hip-hop.”

Puckett, who started school at Texas Woman’s University in 2009, received her undergraduate degree in biology and is currently finishing her master’s degree in molecular biology. She began juicing after realizing a remarkable connection between what she was studying and her interest in delicious, healthy food.

“The plus side for having juice in the first place is that you get condensed nutrients, [like] minerals and vitamins,” Puckett said. “Trace elements fall into those categories like calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and all those things you hear about all the time that you need more of in your diet,” Puckett said. “Well, the reason we need those in our diet is because of certain molecular processes called nucleotide excision repair. What that actually is is a process that our body goes through to repair damage that’s accumulated to our D.N.A. from exposure to chemicals, U.V radiation, and everything you are exposed to on a daily basis.”

Puckett and Williams said they are excited to begin the new phase of their business and to provide a place within the music scene that can accommodate kids and teenagers under 21 years-old. Though the renovations are not complete yet, they will soon be finished and ready for crowds sometime next month, around time to celebrate their one-year anniversary as the Juice Lab.

Featured Image: Owners Loni Puckett, 33, and Brandon Williams, 39, chat behind the counter of the Juice Lab, which opened February 5, 2016. Amber Nasser

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Kayleigh Bywater

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