Happy + Hale, a juice and salad bar, opened a new location on Ninth Street last week, welcoming Duke students and Durham locals.

The restaurant offers healthy options—including fresh juices, smoothies and salad bowls. During its first week of operations, Happy + Hale had a soft opening with limited hours, but the restaurant transitioned Wednesday to normal business hours from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., co-founder Tyler Helikson said.

“The first week was phenomenal,” Helikson said. “The reception that we received from the Duke community, the Ninth Street community and the neighborhood community was overwhelmingly positive.” 

Helikson and co-founder Matthew Whitley opened the first Happy + Hale location in downtown Raleigh in June 2014. 

Helikson said his team learned a lot during the Ninth Street location’s soft opening and is making small operational changes to improve efficiency. 

“Our Raleigh store doesn’t see a whole lot of dinner traffic, so we didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “We were pleasantly surprised with how popular our dinner hours are [in Durham].”

A student who was present at Happy + Hale’s opening noted the benefits of the restaurant’s proximity to East Campus.

“I see a lot of these type of restaurants in San Francisco so it was definitely a nice touch to have one in Durham,” senior Leanna Zhan said. “I feel like it’ll become a really popular place to hang out with friends or even study.”

Zhan, who tried the acai bowl, said she enjoyed both the food and the atmosphere of the large, open restaurant, which has both indoor and outdoor seating for customers.

“People were craving a spot they could call their own, go in and get a quick, healthy meal in an environment that they feel good about being inside of,” Helikson said. “We try to curate our vibe so that it is upbeat and welcoming, and we train our staff to be very welcoming as well.” 

Happy + Hale is also partnering with Kathy Smith, Trinity ’01 and owner of yoga studio Yoga Off East. The yoga studio opened this month in the back of the restaurant.

Helikson added that Smith originally brought the space on 703 Ninth Street to his and Whitley’s attention in 2014.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of talking to the neighborhood, the Duke students and Duke faculty,” Helikson said. “It’s been wonderful seeing that young energy inside of the walls.”