James Seyba, former executive chef at Miam Café, told New Times in November that he left the Wynwood eatery to find work closer to home. But now Seyba, who previously worked at the Broken Shaker, 27 Restaurant & Bar, and Centro Taco, is ready to divulge the real reason: He's opening Jamie's Juice Bar & Kitchen in the Lincoln Park shopping plaza in Hollywood (6856 Stirling Rd.).
"I've been trying to keep it under wraps," he laughs. "I'm a little superstitious in that way."
The spot, which is just under 1,000 square feet, will be stocked with fresh-pressed juices, smoothies, and wheatgrass shots, as well as small plates such as sandwiches, salads, and wraps. The store doesn't have a fryer or grill — Seyba is concentrating on slow food cooked with little preparation. He plans to grow some of his ingredients in-house too, including wheatgrass and other small herbs.
"The store isn't vegetarian or raw," he says. "It's just simple. Everything will revolve around fresh produce. Nothing is going to be made with powders or additives."
At Jamie's Juice Bar & Kitchen, Seyba hopes to attract a daily crowd, similar to the way a coffee shop draws regulars. "I don't expect people to come every day," he says, "but I want people to be able to incorporate my juice bar into their weekly routine."
After the debut of his concept, which is slated for early 2017, he plans to roll out bowl selections, a signature avocado toast, and house-made soups. He also plans to source fruits and vegetables from nearby farms.
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"I love cooking, and I believe the possibilities are endless," he says. "I've always been interested in creating a middle ground between food and drink, and that's what smoothies are to me. But I still want to have other food options available, which is why I added 'kitchen' to its name."
Since Seyba began cooking, he had always dreamed of opening his own restaurant. Before that could happen, he explains, he searched for a niche.
"People have never been more concerned about their health," he says, "and I also wanted to find something no one was doing up here. There are a lot of chains in Broward, but it lacks a place that offers quality prepared food. I think people are craving fresh food, not something frozen or puréed."