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Dirty Lemon Opens Pop-up Wellness Bar

The “modern apothecary” offers handcrafted drinks that promote wellness benefits.

Digital brand Dirty Lemon is bringing its lemon-based beverages to its first pop-up retail concept: a non-alcoholic cocktail bar dubbed “The Drug Store.”

Opening June 29 in NoLIta, the bar, which the brand describes as a modern apothecary, takes inspiration from Fifties’ pharmacies and soda fountains. The bar offers handcrafted versions of Dirty Lemon beverages, plus new formulations like a matcha drink blended with adaptogens and a lemon juice shot served with a miracle berry.

“We’re blending a lot of the energy and aesthetic that we’ve created online with more of a physical experience with real bartenders crafting all of the different drinks we have,” said Zak Normandin, cofounder and chief executive officer of Dirty Lemon. “Having a bar type of an experience with all the same types of craft that you would expect from a cocktail bar, but having them be more health focused is an interesting concept.”

The menu, which consists of five drinks and two shots, are meant to impart wellness benefits for the customer. For example, “Detox,” which is made with lemon juice, ginger, dandelion root and activated charcoal, is said to support liver and kidney function, while “Skin+Hair,” which is made with lemon juice, shavegrass, red clover, chili and marine collagen, is meant to improve the skin’s elasticity, hydration and density.

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By offering both older and new drinks, the brand is tracking how well each drink is performing in order to decide what new formulas the brand should add to its permanent collection.

“A lot of the ingredients we’re using have been on the shelves of natural food stores for a long time,” Normandin said on the brand’s point of differentiation. “I think demystifying that and taking it into a more drinkable format to incorporate into your daily routine is the way that people want to be consuming those ingredients now.”

Even though the brand offers a bottle of its drinks with each purchase and has the brand name illustrated on drink sleeves, there is very minimal Dirty Lemon branding throughout the store.

“We just want to build awareness around the brand in a cool way and if for the next two months we just have people coming in and drinking our drinks, I think that’s a win for the brand,” Normandin said on the store’s branding. “Having it feel like a new restaurant makes it more approachable to consumers.”

“The Drug Store” will also feature celebrity bartenders and live DJs during its run. The pop-up is located at 232 Elizabeth Street and will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily until Sept. 4.