New Downtown Boutique Wolf Juice Adds Splash of Street Style from JC’s Other Neighborhoods

UPDATE: Wolf Juice closed at this location April 2013

Downtown Jersey City just got a little more “dope.”

Since opening on Black Friday last year, local boutique Wolf Juice has been offering what owner Earl Davis (also known as Ego) calls some of the illest threads in Chilltown.

The 27-year-old Heights resident, who grew up in the West Side neighborhood, says this is his first independent business venture, which got its name from a play on nicknames he’s acquired over the years. Davis says decided to open the store simply because he “wanted to do something great in (his) city.”

The shop currently carries a range of men’s street wear (women’s clothes are coming soon, Davis says) from brands like Mishka, Pyknic and local design company Good Shepherd, often on consignment. They also offer various garment services like silk screening and embroidery. At the store, you can also find thrift and vintage clothing and their own creations. All of Wolf Juice’s originals are made using American Apparel products or some of their vintage stock, freshly remixed by an in-house seamstress.

“My favorite products are the items we make ourselves — a lot of work and love goes into them,” says Davis. “We are a lifestyle brand and store and this is generally a blue collar town and that’s the lifestyle we design for.

“The Wolf Juice lifestyle is simply the ferocity in any individual bottled up and concentrated. There are no complicated paradigms that come with our clothing. Our products don’t give you wings, but it helps you stand out and makes you unquestionably dope.”

But it’s about more than clothes to him. “My goals are to be new, make new things, be innovative but above all that contribute to making Downtown more accessible to the other less exclusive regions of the city,” he adds. “I want to let everyone in on this secret that is revitalized downtown Jersey City.”

Higher rent often matches generally higher income levels in Downtown and businesses sprout up quickly on streets like Newark and Grove whereas old main streets in other neighborhoods like Palisade and West Side avenues have blocks worth of empty storefronts. As a result, it can be frustrating for many in neighborhoods like the Heights, West Side, Greenville and Bergen-Lafayette to see Downtown Jersey City experiencing faster growth and more prosperity. Davis says, however, that Downtown’s growth can help the entire city.

“Wolf Juice can help the rest of the city understand that the goings-on of Downtown are not exclusive. We (want to) present the talent in the city in the proper forum that is Downtown,” says Davis. “The art scene has to be more than hobnobbing and bar-hopping from pseudo art gallery to pseudo art gallery. Downtown has the potential to save lives and change the climate of the entire city, I want Wolf Juice to be an intricate part of that.”

Wolf Juice will kick things off by showcasing Greenvile artists in a group art show for the JC Fridays citywide art festival on March 1. The show is being curated by local photographer Daniel Morteh (also known as Kodaq Jonez) and will feature Cristina Villaflor, Kevin Jones, Lorenzo Pickett, and Richard Ryals. There will also be a spoken word performance by Tameka “Earth” Raines and a performance by the Audiobodies. (For more information, click here.) Considering Wolf Juice took over the space that was previously occupied by art gallery and boutique Woolpunk Studios, local art lovers will certainly be pleased to see the location still being used for cultural events.

“And I let the rest of the artistic talent in the city know that they have a home here at Wolf Juice,” says Davis. “We want to offer a place for artists to present and sell their pieces in a retail setting. Not only curating shows and hanging artwork, but also developing merchandise with artists and creating an environment for artists to not only be appreciated, but compensated as well.”

Wolf Juice is located at 298 Newark Ave. On Saturday, Jan. 25 at 4 pm, they will have a Madden tournament (dubbed the Super Juice Bowl) when video gamers can compete for $200 in store credit. There will also be a Tekken Tag tournament. Participation costs $10. For more information, visit the Wolf Juice website or follow them on Twitter @wolfjuiceshop.

Check out some snaps of the store:

Photos by Daniel Morteh

Summer Dawn Hortillosa

is a freelance arts and entertainment writer whose work has appeared in the Jersey City Independent, The Jersey Journal, the International and other publications. She is also a creative writer and theatrical director.