The Strong Bull contains banana, maka, hemp protein, and almond milk, and the Green Day Live is a mixture of celery, green apple juice, avocado and lemon. The concoctions seem endless at the new raw juice bar Peeled.
Located on Sheffield just south of North Avenue, Peeled declares itself a “fresher, greener, better-for-you way to jump start your health.”
“We consider ourselves a micro-juicery,” said owner Keith Pegues. “Everything we make is made by hand throughout the day. A lot of technical care goes into each juice, so we’re not the typical chain in that we take a lot of pride in what we’re producing.”
Peeled offers a variety of juices and smoothies as well as a “cleanse” package, which involves three to five day (and occasionally longer) diets of nothing but pure fruit and vegetable juices. Pegues claims this detoxes the body by giving one’s system a break from digesting food and just absorbing the nutrients.
“It’s really popular,” said Caleb James, 19, who is also Pegues’ stepson. “People do the cleanse and the phone will be ringing off the hook.”
“You’re getting a complete spectrum of nutrients,” said Pegues. “We have a wheat grass drink that’s equivalent to eating about a pound of vegetables. Now it’s going to be really hard for anyone to sit down and just eat a pound of vegetables. But if you’re getting that in juice form, it’s no problem–not to mention it tastes good.”
Pegues went to college for pre-pharmacy before switching to a career in elementary education and then finally fashion and landscape photography. That career gave him a lot of opportunity to travel, and as a twenty-year vegetarian, he always loved raw fruit and vegetable juices. He saw an opportunity to bring that product to Chicago.
“When I traveled I found raw juices no problem, but not so much here in Chicago,” he said. According to Pegues, chains like Jamba Juice use a lot of purees and syrups in their beverages, something he eschews.
His employees—all trained in hand-crafting the juices—agree.
“It’s just nice working in a place where you’re giving people something that’s good for their body,” said Jeff Trainor, 27.
James said he appreciated the area where they opened the store.
“I love the Lincoln Park area. The people are nice, and it seems like they’re willing to try new things,” he said.
In addition to being an active juice bar open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, Peeled also has a mobile unit that makes home delivery of juices—usually for those customers doing a cleanse. The store also offers a variety of raw produce for home delivery and will have a strong presence at farmer’s markets this summer, according to Pegues.
Peeled opened in January, but Pegues says they will have a more appropriate grand opening in the early summer that will include a “customer appreciation” component. Pegues encourages people to check the store’s website for more information on that and the wide variety of juices and smoothies they offer.