October 20, 2021

The Squeeze on the move

Cortland juice bar to open in new location July 31

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

Jeff Cleckley, left, and Darris McDowell walk near each other Wednesday inside The Squeeze Juice Bar in Cortland. The store will move to 105 Main St., the location of the former Spiedini’s Pizza Parlor, in July.

Darris McDowell joked and talked with friends Wednesday inside The Squeeze Juice Bar on Main Street in Cortland.

Business, while good, can be quiet, which isn’t unusual for the current location, he said. But come July 31, McDowell, owner of The Squeeze, is expecting a faster pace as his store moves and opens at 105 Main St., the site of the former Spiedini’s pizza parlor in Cortland.

The decision to move came about a month ago, McDowell said. Business had been increasing over the nearly four years he had been inside the Beach House Mall and he was looking to expand with food options and visibility.

The business offers nachos, steak sandwiches and, most notably its chop cheese sandwich. The sandwich features ground beef, mayonnaise, ketchup and lettuce, he said.

Fish and chips will be a new item served at the new location along with the smoothies currently on offer. He’s looking to hire three or four workers, too, expanding over his current staff of one.

“I’m trying to get in the action of the nighttime life as well,” McDowell said.

Once in its new location, the store will be open later, from noon to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday and noon to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday, he said.

Bob Haight, the president and CEO of the Cortland County Chamber of Commerce, praised McDowell for moving his store.

“He serves a great product and has great customer service and now with the visibility of his new location I expect business to be even better,” Haight said.

McDowell said Spiedini’s closed about six months ago but he did not have other details. Haight did not have any information on Spiedini’s closing either.

Business for McDowell did not waver over the last year.

“Especially during the pandemic, the community supported me a lot,” he said.

The Squeeze will close on July 19 or 20 at the Beach House Mall location before opening at the new location.

While a little nervous about the move, McDowell said he’s ready for the change.

“The Squeeze is my baby,” he said. “You’re always prepared when you have a baby.”