Let's get Happy + Hale: It's expanding to Ninth Street in Durham | Food

Let's get Happy + Hale: It's expanding to Ninth Street in Durham


No more scurvy: All these veggies are coming to Durham in January - JUSTIN COOK
  • Justin Cook
  • No more scurvy: All these veggies are coming to Durham in January

If you get a hankering for a midday meal from Happy + Hale, you’re in for a wait. You can almost set your watch to the lines that form in front of the 850-square-foot juice and salad bar during the lunch hours.

Are people elbowing one another inside the tiny restaurant, hollering requests for arugula and whey powder in their almond smoothies? Must be noon. Is the line snaking out the door and around the patio tables? That likely means it’s 1 o’clock. Is the juice cooler empty, but you can walk right into the restaurant? Betcha it’s 2 p.m.

When co-owners Tyler Helikson and Matt Whitley opened Happy + Hale on June 27, 2014, in Raleigh’s City Plaza, they envisioned a bright, open area with windows behind the counter so patrons could watch the 5-foot juicer do its thing. Indeed, there is a small window near the machine, but the restaurant is so popular and compact that it’s often impossible to see anything but bustling workers, let alone find a comfortable perch.

But that’s all about to change—in Durham. Today, the duo finalized a lease for a space on Ninth Street three times the size of their glass cube in City Plaza. That makes Happy + Hale the latest in a string of Raleigh-to-Durham doubles like Arrow barbershop (known to the Bull City as Pedro Williams), The Pit and Lilly’s Pizza.

“We learned a lot of what to fix through store one, like if you just want a juice or a smoothie, you probably don’t want to wait in a 30-person salad line,” Helikson says with a chuckle. “We’re going to have a grab-and-go section. We’re allowing our products to dictate our new layout.”

Compared with its Raleigh counterpart, the new location will be downright expansive, with an indoor dining area, a cold-pressed cocktail menu, and a full service yoga studio run by Durham resident Kathy Smith. The juicer intended to shine in Raleigh will be relocated, and Whitley says they’ll also have a smaller juicer available to produce custom creations on-site.

“We currently juice overnight, so one of our biggest frustrations is that sometimes we throw away 20 bottles, and sometimes we run out by 20 bottles,” Helikson explains. “In Durham, we’re going to juice throughout the day, so people can come in and see how the whole thing is done. That will be really big from a transparency and a supply standpoint.”

Happy + Hale plans to move production to the Bull City, pressing each day’s supply on Ninth Street before dispatching it to the flagship site in Raleigh and to local gym chain O2 Fitness. They will also offer juice and salad delivery throughout both cities via bike and car.

“The timing of our business has been in alignment with real change and growth in Raleigh, and in the Triangle as a whole,” Whitley says. “Durham’s a great place. It’s alive, it’s vibrant. The idea of Happy + Hale has always been that when you eat better, it’s fuel for big ideas. It’s super exciting to be a part of that.”

The new location will open in January of 2016 in what used to be a post office at 703 Ninth St. in Durham. Craig Kerins and Robby Johnston of the Raleigh Architecture Co. will complete the upfit.

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