'The Squeeze' Juice Bar opens in downtown Cortland

Sharnee Moore, co-owner of The Squeeze Juice Bar, pours smoothie samples for customers (photo provided)

CORTLAND, N.Y. - Cortland's got the juice now, baby.

The Squeeze Juice Bar, located at 37 Main St., officially opened its doors in downtown Cortland on Monday, October 23.

Menu offerings include juices, fruit smoothies and shakes, all of which are made with real fruit and no added syrup, says business owner and New York City native Darris McDowell.

One of McDowell's signature concoctions is the Heaven on Earth smoothie, which is made with bananas, vanilla, almond milk, vanilla yogurt, honey, and blueberries. He also recommends the Strawberry Orange Cream shake, which is a mix of orange juice, strawberries, bananas, and vanilla pudding.

Despite being open for less than a month, McDowell's spot is already receiving rave reviews from customers on the bar's Facebook page:

McDowell, who studied business at Tompkins Cortland Community College, is a first-time business owner.

"So far, I like it," he said. In addition to his walk-in juice bar, McDowell is also catering events for local businesses. He says he felt motivated to open up his own establishment after the passing of his mother earlier this year.

"My mom passed away in June. I woke up one day and told myself I needed to do something to get over this slump," McDowell said.

It was at that point that he decided to use his personal savings to start his own business.

Darris McDowell

McDowell says he plans to offer a monthly raffle and let customers concoct their own liquid creation, and have it appear on his menu for the month.

The juice bar is open from 9 a.m. - 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday.