Revive Energy Bar has moved to 669 Highland Street, 435-6879
Revive Energy Bar
1555 Madison Ave.
I'm not sure when or why, but I once told the monkeys (Satchel, 8, and Jiro, 6) that there was a cereal bar in town where you could get all the cereal you wanted. I think I said, "It's like YoLo, but with milk instead of yogurt."
Jiro has been pressing to go for weeks, and finally I agreed to take him. (And his brother, natch.)
The cereal bar is actually inside of Revive Energy Bar which is inside Minglewood Hall. Revive also offers coffee, hot breakfast, and oxygen. (That was fun to explain to the kids!)
Once inside, Satchel seemed disappointed. "This is it?" he asked. "I thought it would be more like the Cove." Now, let me do some explaining. No, my kids do not hang out at the Cove, but I do. (Usually just on Tuesday nights.) I can hear Warren now, "Yes, mommy is at the bar again." They did actually get to go inside the Cove right before it opened, about three years ago, during one of the first Broad Avenue Art Walks. And on subsequent art walks, they have certainly peeked in.
Anyways, Jiro was excited enough for us all.
"Pack your bowl deep."
I knew right away that we were in for an experience!
Inside, it was pretty dead except for one couple interested in the oxygen bar. (If I had to guess, I'd say they were from out of town.) It was about 11am on a Saturday, maybe a little later than most people would be eating cereal. We were totally okay with having the place to ourselves.
The couple was being a little chatty at the counter, so we wandered over to check out the cereal.
It was very reminiscent of a DIY yogurt place, but on a much smaller scale. I was a little let down by the size of it, but if you compare it to our pantry at home, it's certainly more impressive. There are 20 cereals, many of which I try not to buy on a regular basis like Corn Pops, Cookie Crisp, Honey Combs, Lucky Charms, Fruity Pebbles, Cap'n Crunch, etc. There were also a few "healthy" options like Raisin Bran, Kashi Go Lean, and Grape Nuts. Toppings included extra sugar, candy, dried fruit, syrup, whip cream, and "fresh" fruit. (The "fresh" fruit was most definitely frozen and not at all appetizing.)
While we were gawking, a manager type came over and told us how it worked. For $4 each, we got a big bowl and a bottle of milk. Extra milk is $2. I told him that in my mind endless cereal included endless milk, but he assured me that the one bottle of milk went a pretty long way. Then he advised Jiro to try Fruity Pebbles and Cap'n Crunch mixed together. "It's the best," he promised. I was glad for the advice, because I feared a YoLo style free for all where they ended up with bowls full of way too much crap.
Jiro followed his advice, but added a few peanut butter chips.
Satchel opted for Fruity Pebbles mixed with Cocoa Puffs. And he couldn't resist whip cream on top. (Thankfully, he asked me to dispense it.)
I went for a mix of the three "adult" cereals--Kashi Go Lean, Grape Nuts, and Raisin Bran. After having seen the "fresh" fruit, I just added a few extra raisins.
Most of the tables were two tops, so I grabbed an extra chair and joined the monkeys, who were happily munching away.
Jiro agreed that the mix of Fruity Pebbles and Cap'n Crunch was delicious and asked if he could have seconds. "Sure!" I said. He happily refilled and polished off his milk. Once Satchel finished his first bowl, he was pretty much done. (He likes sweets, but not like his brother.) One bowl was plenty for me.
"This is good!" Jiro exclaimed while attacking his second bowl. When it was gone he looked at me and said, "Can I have the rest of your milk and get more?" I agreed and he set off once again. He was in heaven.
I'm not sure if the manager knew who we were or not, or if he was just friendly, but he came to check on us and told me that he is working on expanding, and getting better fruit. I told him that the frozen fruit was a bit disappointing. He said they've been looking at the yogurt places to see if they can get a better system in place.
The he added that he was considering offering a $2 deal for kids and playing cartoons. (There are 4 TVs.) I thought that was a great idea and encouraged him, especially seeing how much Jiro was enjoying his breakfast. I can't believe he didn't ask to have his birthday there! He did however ask if we could buy Fruity Pebbles and Cap'n Crunch the next time we went "someplace that sells cereal."
The manager, who's name I really should have found out by now, said adults can clean out a whole dispenser of cereal and he was struggling to find a way to make the idea more profitable. He also plans to add a larger hot menu. He was really friendly and it seems like there may be a bright future for the cereal bar.
While $12 is a bit steep just for cereal, in the grand scheme of things, it was a pretty cheap breakfast for the three of us. Best of all, they are open from 6:30am-Midnight (Or Later) everyday. So those of you with the early rising toddlers have an alternative to donuts now!
Beware of the loose brick! Jiro was convinced there was treasure hidden below.
And don't forget the giant guitar photo op!
We'll be back.