Smooth-Ish, a juice bar that opened at 7415 Madison St. in Dec. 2021, is closing mid-September.
The owners, Forest Park couple Ismeal “Ish” Le Dezma and Heidy De la Cruz, did not respond to calls and emails seeking comment. The closure announcement posted on the juice bar’s social media channels on Aug. 13 didn’t go into any detail, saying only that Aug. 25 would be the last time they would be open on weekdays, and that they would close for good on Sept. 17. Building owner Art Sundry has already listed the space for rent.
When the Review stopped by Smooth-ish on Sept. 2, the juice bar had a slow but steady trickle of customers. The staff on duty declined to speak to the Review.
Smooth-Ish was Forest Park’s first business that put healthy, all-natural juices, smoothies and smoothy bowls at the core of their business. In the interview three months after the opening, La Dezma and De La Cruz said that they wanted to create an environment where the customers wouldn’t feel pressured or judged.
“We don’t want Smooth-Ish to be intimidating,” said Le Dezma at the time. “We’d like to introduce people to a healthier lifestyle and teach people about unfamiliar ingredients like goji berries, but we always want to be approachable.”
The couple have lived in Forest Park since 2017. Le Dezma works as a transport engineer and De la Cruz is a first-grade dual-language teacher in Berwyn. In the 2022 interview, they said that their relatives would help them run the business while they are at their day jobs.
Le Dezma worked at his uncle’s Mexican restaurant in his youth, and he began experimenting with juice combinations and smoothie recipes during pandemic related lockdowns. As the restrictions relaxed, his hobby became a more serious endeavor. He and De la Cruz, who described herself as a “fruit and veggie convert,” decided to build a brick-and-mortar business in the community they called home.
“We want Smooth-Ish to be a business that allows us to value ourselves and the community around us,” said Le Dezma in the 2022 interview. “Pleasing our customers is a top priority and we are excited to be a part of Madison Street.”
The closing announcement didn’t give any detail of why Smooth-ish was shutting down.
“Thank you to everyone that gave us a chance-ish to be part of your day,” it stated. “Cheers!”
When the Review stopped by a “for rent” sign was already taped to the door. A Coldwell Banker Realty listing boasts that the space has “beautiful hardwood floors,” as well as “a large storage locker in the basement” and a freight elevator.
The 7415 Madison St. storefront has seen a variety of uses over the years, housing Deedee & Edee boutique and Jimmie’s Gourmet Popcorn. It served as a temporary home for the Forest Park Historical Society from 2011 to 2012.
Smooth-Ish is currently open on weekends from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.