Smoothie Bar on Central Square opens in downtown Youngstown

By By Jordyn Grzelewski, Vindicator, Youngstown, Ohio

Downtown Youngstown welcomed its newest business Monday with the opening of the Smoothie Bar on Central Square.

The shop — which features fruit smoothies, paninis and wraps — is located in Realty Tower at 47 Federal Plaza Central, which is also home to the Starting Lineup Barber & Beauty Shop.

Both businesses are owned by Jerome Franklin, a Youngstown native who became a barber in 2001. He opened the Starting Lineup in 2006 and moved it downtown in 2015.

At the grand opening and ribbon-cutting event, Franklin said his business aspirations are inspired by his two children, ages 6 and 14.

“I want to leave a legacy for them,” he said.

The idea for a smoothie shop came about in Franklin’s research for another venture he’s working on: a spa that is slated to open in the Realty Tower basement this month.

The space previously was occupied by Joe Maxx Coffee Co., which moved to the Youngstown Business Incubator-owned Semple Building on West Federal Street earlier this year.

The smoothie shop features a new look, with bright orange and green accents. The menu includes a long list of paninis, priced at $4.50 for a half and $5.75 for a whole; wraps for $4.75; and, of course, smoothies.

Customers can create their own fruit smoothies, which cost $4.99 for a regular and $5.50 for a large. Featured smoothies such as pumpkin spice (pumpkin puree, bananas, almond milk, nutmeg and cinnamon) and blueberry boost (blueberry, bananas and acai) cost $5.25 for a regular and $5.75 for a large.

The event was attended by city and Youngstown State University officials, as well as family and friends of Franklin’s.

“We’re proud to be here for another great day in our city,” YSU President Jim Tressel said.

“This is good for our downtown as well as our entire city,” said Councilman Julius Oliver, D-1st.

Speaking about the ongoing revitalization of downtown Youngstown, Franklin said this is a good time to open a business downtown.

“There is a lot of space available to expand and grow,” he said. “That’s how Youngstown will come back — if we come together and create businesses.”

This article provided by NewsEdge.