Downtown Tuscaloosa's newest spot is open in Temerson Square, where Ken and Cheyenne Cupp hosted the grand opening of Sage Juice Bar & Speakeasy Tuesday morning.

The husband and wife entrepreneurs owned and first went into business together when they opened a Rooted Juice Bar in Clayton, New York, but Ken, a University of Alabama alumnus, always wanted to come back to Tuscaloosa and make a similar concept work in the Druid City.

"This is something we've dreamed about for a long time," Ken Cupp said. "Just being able to come back, as alumni, and bring this big city feel back to a place that's so special to me -- I'm really proud of it."

Now, after months of renovating the old Edelweiss cafe location in Temerson Square and COVID-19 related setbacks, that dream has come to life at Sage. Inside, the staff which juices, hybrids and smoothies in the mornings, add sandwiches, wraps, paninis and more to the menu for lunch and transitions to a craft cocktail speakeasy at night.

(Stephen Dethrage)

Their grand opening Tuesday morning was attended by ambassadors from the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama as well as Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox and other members of the city's staff.

In short comments, Maddox joked that in 15 years as mayor, he had never been to a ribbon-cutting at a speakeasy, but added that the Cupps' concept is exactly the kind of thing that will make Tuscaloosa thrive for years to come -- a hip and healthy option where students and young professionals can find quality creations made with fresh ingredients.

 

Inside, a distinctly modern interior is warmly lit by Edison bulbs and colorful strips of lights under the bar. There is a long bar, where the staff serves juices and drinks, and tabletop and booth seating along the walls, as well as a comfortable couch near the door and a well-furnished, fenced-in patio outside.

The juices, hybrids and smoothies are made with fresh, vibrant ingredients, and the speakeasy isn't an afterthought tacked on for a city that loves to drink. Each cocktail is crafted with housemade syrups and high-end liquor, with an attention to detail only found in a few other spots in the Tuscaloosa area.

Whether you're stopping in for an early morning smoothie and fruit bowl or stopping in at night for one of the best gin and ginger cocktails you've ever had, make a point to check out Sage Juice Bar & Speakeasy at 2324 4th Street in downtown Tuscaloosa soon. You won't regret it.