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Restaurant review: Nekter Juice Bar doesn’t impress

Nekter Juice Bar’s ethos is as follows: no artificial sugar, no fake ingredients, no toxins (whatever those are), and as I’ve found, no fun. 

Nekter Juice Bar began in 2010, with its first shop in Costa Mesa, California. It now has locations all over the United States, and makes an average of $957,628 in gross annual sales. It has become such a phenomenon that it even has its own hashtag: #livethenekterlife. The company claims its juices improve digestion, boost immunity, and increase energy, among other benefits. But is it really ‘all that and a bag of chips’?

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On Nov. 9, Nekter Juice Bar opened its doors off of College Avenue near the Foothills Mall. Soft blue walls and a bright color scheme greet customers as they walk in, giving off tropical beach vibes. The menu includes acai bowls, smoothies, and custom juices, with choice “supplements,” such as detoxes, hangover supporters, and antioxidants. There are also options for vegan frozen yogurt. 

Does all of this sound familiar yet? Well, it should. Nekter is only an overrated version of Rush Bowls.

I had a Pink Flamingo smoothie with a few friends, who ordered the Banana Berry Burst smoothie and Orange Crush smoothie. Between the three of us, for a small 16 ounces each, we paid  $21 total. Not bad, but not ideal. Acai bowls range from $9-11, adding $1 for anything added or replaced. 

I will admit that the freshness was clear. Behind the counter, clearly labeled organic fruits and vegetables were stored. We watched as the ingredients were washed, hand cut and blended in front of us. The drinks tasted fine, albeit a bit water-y due to their fruit bases. I wouldn’t say it’s anything special, certainly not anything to write home about. They weren’t bad, either. Just… okay. 

For the health nuts and dietary restricted students, Nekter could offer a new take on an old idea. Fort Collins only has so many vegan options, and Nekter provides a much-needed breath of fresh air for those who opt out of meat consumption. 

However, as the average, broke college student with a few picky eating habits, I’d rate it a solid 6/10. The ingredients are all fine and dandy, as I’m a sucker for organic food and I’m just as eager to be fit as the next person. My biggest complaint is the price. If Rush Bowls offers almost the exact same menu for a lower amount, and a bigger serving size,  it seems there is a clear winner to me. Rush Bowls has already filled the niche for acai bowls and beach bum-wannabes, plus it’s  closer to campus. If money wasn’t a concern, the menu was as good as I could’ve asked it to be, but for me, Nekter just isn’t all that it’s hyped up to be. 

I’m willing to bet it’s here to stay, though, because the west coast yoga enthusiasts are all too quick to buy that last drop of charcoal lemonade. If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s zoomers chasing the California trend. 

Autumn Sorrentino can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @ItsNotTarantino

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