Pleasant Street: The Hippest Little Place in Town

For years, Black Bear Burritos and 123 Pleasant St. have been staples of the Morgantown community. Black Bear, known for its Appalachian/locavore-style vibe, has meshed well with 123’s music scene, but some recent additions may have made the street the coolest, hippest part in town.

Inside Black Bear Burritos. via TripAdvisor

First came Real Juice Bar, a family-owned café that opened on Pleasant St. in March 2014.

“My mom had always been juicing. She juiced when she went through chemotherapy for breast cancer, because she definitely contributes part of her recovery to juicing,” Morgan Maas, daughter of the store owners, told The Daily Athenaeum in 2014. “We have been living this healthy lifestyle for so long. We said, ‘Morgantown could really use a juice bar.’”

But why did the family open their store on Pleasant St.? Was it coincidence or to help spark what is now the “place to be” in Morgantown?

“I looked all over downtown,” Real Juice owner Ruth Maas said. “High Street is High Street. I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s sort of turning into what Sunnyside used to be. Pleasant Street has this really cool vibe… It’s far enough away from campus that it’s a little quieter. It’s not so crazy.”

Ruth Maas credited the rise of Pleasant Street’s scene to LJ Guliani, the owner of many of Pleasant St.’s buildings.

“(Guliani) was looking for businesses that were kind of all alike,” Ruth said.

The Mountain People’s Co-Op moved from University Ave. to Pleasant St. late last summer, adding another unique, alternative choice to the area.

“We truly care about the products that we carry, and we care about our members,” Assistant Manager Cher Lindquist said last fall. “[There are] a lot of people we know on a first-name basis… You’re not going to get that at a normal store.”

This tight bundle of locations, along with the Apothecary Ale House right around the corner, have carved out a nice, down-to-earth area among the hustle and bustle of the rest of the city.


4 thoughts on “Pleasant Street: The Hippest Little Place in Town

  1. I LOVE Black Bear Burritos. It’s good local food you can’t find elsewhere. I don’t get to eat there as often as I like, but it’s always a good go-to. I’ve never been a huge fan of the juice bar. It’s too expensive for a too-small drink that doesn’t even taste very good. I remember spending $7 on a smoothie once, took two or three sips, and threw it away.But, I do agree that Pleasant St. is it’s own little microcosm of the city. Great post!


  2. I really love how much Pleasant Street is growing and is becoming a buzzing place for many individuals. Black Bear is such a unique place with so many good food options to choose from. One thing that is unique about Black Bear that is that instead of giving you a number or something like that to let the waiters know what food belongs to who, they give you various other “throwback” toys that many of us would have played with when we were younger. I’ve never personally been to the Juice Bar or to The Mountain People’s Co-Op, but I know people who have and who enjoy both places. I like how Ruth Maas said that High Street is High Street and that Pleasant Street has a really cool vibe. High Street is the same old, same old pretty much and doesn’t offer as many cool, unique places. Don’t get me wrong, High street does have some cool places, but Pleasant Street is starting to take the cake for uniqueness. I can’t wait to see how Pleasant Street expands within the coming years and what cool places pop up in the area to add to the cool vibe.


  3. Your’e right, Pleasant Street is definitely growing and becoming more popular, but I feel like most students who visit Pleasant live near there. I think with the new Evansdale Crossing and restaurants on High Street, that some of the local businesses won’t continue to thrive. Black Bear is one of my favorite places to eat in Morgantown, but with all of the new restaurants and location that I live, I haven’t been there all year 😦 I also think The Juice Bar is going to take most of the business away from The Real Juice Bar, since you can use meal plan and get to it easier. (You should link my Juice War article onto yours!)


  4. Great quotes. I love all of the places you mention in this post and I think you formulated it well. Getting different perspectives and little stories from people who visit these places religiously can be very interesting. Whether they go for the food, the atmosphere, the music or something else sometimes the best thing we can do is listen. Especially because being journalists, we have the perfect position to share these stories.


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