The just-closed Gray’s Papaya store in Greenwich Village is turning into a juice bar and smoothie store, which is ironic, since Gray’s healthy and delicious papaya drink pre-dates the smoothie and juicing craze by a couple of decades. Gray’s Papaya was squeezed out of the location on Sixth Avenue and Eighth Street because of a steep rent increase, which apparently doesn’t bother the growing Liquiteria juice bar chain, which also is opening two locations around Union Square soon. The Chelsea location opened in September 2013. The original Liquiteria opened in 1996 in the East Village, and offers cleanses and body-cleanse coaches.
Liquiteria says its growth spurt is because of increased interest in “cold press juice, super-food smoothies and a growing line of healthy, organic, gluten-free and dairy-free grab-and-go food.”
They won’t be serving hot dogs, arguably the best in New York City, for which Gray’s Papaya is more famous than the papaya drink in its name. And since Liquiteria does not put prices on its Gray’s Papaya location, at 72nd St. and Broadway., I can’t tell you how much a smoothie or cleanser costs. But their delivery charge is $5, a few cents more than the famous Gray’s Papaya “Recession Special”: two hot dogs and a medium drink for $4.95, which is still available at the last remaining