Suburban Beverage Mall Phenomenon

by Marisa Olsen


For some unbeknown reason, my Beacon Hill counterparts and I picked In the Land of Women as our weekly film last evening. Maybe because Adam Brody stars in it. Maybe because Meg Ryan stars in it. Je ne sais quoi... the reasons are endless. But we were mesmerized, nonetheless. As we watched the cinematic masterpiece, a suburban phenomenon surfaced; the cult shopping mall beverage, Orange Julius. Now one person, who will go unnamed, was not even remotely aware of this classic American mall sensation. It got me thinking: How could I describe this tasty refreshing beverage, known as the Julius that is Orange? I mean clearly, someone named Julius created a twist on the juice, but what else did I have to offer my friend who stood so far into the darkness? Thinking back, I tried to remember my virgin encounter. Funnily enough, I discovered the classic treat in 6th grade Home Ec. Go figure. I guess I hadn't had my share of suburban shopping mall experiences (clearly, The Short Hills did not apply, think more of Charlotte Russe and Things Remembered). Frozen orange juice concentrate, milk, water, sugar, vanilla and ice cubes blended et voila; a frothy frosted concoction is created. I suppose adolescence distracted me, because it wasn't until I made a maiden voyage Freshman year in college to The Crustal Mall, c/o New London, CT, where I was re united with the real thing, tacky stand and all. Delicious. After vividly recounting my two distinct experiences, I decided to do some research on this tacky shopping mall staple. Thanks to the handy rollover time line feature on the website, I was able to learn that as early as 1929, Julius Freed had already opened up as many as 100 franchises, impressive.
I also learned that Johnny Carson and Alan Shepard and received the Orange Julius Lifetime Pass, something I hope to aspire to as a life goal. I'll have to revamp my schedule to make the schlep out to the tacky mall and divulge in the mid-America beverage phenomenon.
Just like Auntie Ann's and the cleverly titled Master Wok, Orange Julius is just a mall stand away...