Washington’s favorite juice bar is finally in North Bethesda.
South Block is a local, family-run juice bar that specializes in smoothies, açaí bowls and of course, fresh juices. At a special viewing of South Block’s newest location at Pike & Rose, District Fray spoke with South Block’s founder, Amir Mostafavi.
The opening of the Pike & Rose location is a pivotal moment in the juice bar’s growth, as it will be South Block’s first Maryland location.
“We’re expanding into a new state and we’re putting the ‘M’ in the DMV,” he says.
McClean-raised Mostafavi opened the first South Block in Clarendon in 2011, observing a need to bring quality smoothie and juices to the Washington area. Having worked in the juice bar industry for nearly 18 years, the owner emphasized “how important connection to community is when you have a business,” he says.
The hurdles to bring California’s juice culture to the DMV were apparent when Mostafavi first had the idea to open South Block. In forging connections with local patrons interested in exploring a more healthy lifestyle, South Block “represents the idea of building a community on a block where one doesn’t exist and bringing people around that experience,” he says.
Twelve years onward, connection remains at the center of the juice bar’s ethos. At every new location Mostafavi opens, South Block promotes “building healthier communities one block at a time.”
This mission permeates into South Block’s ongoing commitment to public service. “One thing you realize being in this business is that eating healthy fruits and vegetables can be expensive, and some people cannot afford to have that in their daily [lives],” Mostafavi says.
Recognizing the disparity of healthy food accessibility within the DMV, Mostafavi started the nonprofit Fruitful Planet, an organization that works with local farmers and schools to produce fresh food. South Block donates ten percent of its proceeds to Fruitful Planet’s partners, some of which include DC Central Kitchen, Arlington Food Assistance Center and Martha’s Table.
For the North Bethesda community, Mostafavi hopes the opening of the new store is a “sign that despite everything going on in the world today, there’s still growth, there’s still opportunities to prosper and grow,” he says.
South Block’s new location at Pike & Rose is a convenient walk from the White Flint metro. The shop is one of three new South Block sites opening in the DMV, including locations at Amazon HQ2 and 1 Loudon.