Looking New and Shiny
Live! Juice Bar and Music Venue Set to Open in Pensacola’s Historic Downtown
Archival photos of Pensacola show a city of bustling seaports and a variety of Industrial, French Colonial, Victorian and Spanish-inspired buildings intermingled with lush trees, white quartz sands and emerald-green waters. Spring Street now lives where naturally fed waterways once flowed, and Garden Street was once a dusty gravel road. Much of that landscape changed as Pensacola grew into the cultural and entrepreneurial hub that it is now, but local business owner Ric Kindle says he’s determined to restore and revitalize part of the city’s historic downtown.
Kindle is renovating a building at 532 Garden Street and will open a restaurant, juice bar and event space there in the fall. He says Live! Raw Juice Bar & More, a venture centered around mindfulness, will bring something new to the Pensacola scene while preserving a bit of the city’s history.
The area has prominent ties to the development of the city, he notes. The corner of Garden and Coyle Streets was the active site of the Frisco Railroad for many years, until the building there was demolished in 1966. Years later, the Garden Street Car Wash was constructed on the site; that business is still fondly remembered by longtime Pensacola residents.
As CEO of Live!, Kindle says he’s thrilled about extending the life of this historically significant area. “The transformation is underway and the excitement is building,” he says. “I’m so excited to provide a venue that serves fresh foods, host art shows and book live music in our community.”
Kindle’s new venture is in keeping with his track record as an active contributor to the Pensacola community through a variety of outlets, including hosting art shows, organizing festivals, and participating in philanthropic endeavors, yoga and sound healing. Live! is a perfect manifestation of his passions and experience, he says, adding, “I am looking forward to having a space to share those community experiences. The hard work makes it all worth it, and we are so close.”
While renovations are being made with an eye toward protecting Pensacola’s architectural history, he says, both the restored building and its operations are being designed to protect the city’s environmental future. Live! will use completely biodegradable “to-go-wear” made of cornstarch, or reusable bamboo, stainless or glass for purchase. The building is also being remodeled to be as eco-friendly and as possible, with extra insulation for the most energy-efficient operation of its mechanical systems. Kindle hopes to compost as much as possible in order to have a steady supply of “some really amazing dirt elixir.”
A grand opening for the venue is being planned for this fall.To stay updated on the progress of Live! Juice Bar & More, follow it on social media and visit LivePensacola.us.
Marina Christina Quirk is a freelance writer and content developer in the Gulf Coast area.