Fifteen new businesses have opened in downtown Evanston since last fall, employing a total of 112 full-time and 67 part-time workers.

That’s according to a new report from Downtown Evanston that was scheduled to be presented at Wednesday night’s Economic Development Committee meeting.

The meeting was cancelled due to the lack of a quorum, but the online packet prepared for the meeting includes the update on new businesses.

The bulk of the new businesses are restaurants, but the list also includes the new Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group medical practice in the former Border’s bookstore space on Maple Avenue.

Here’s the full list:

October openings

  • Prana Cafe, 1840 Oak Ave, with four full-time employees.
  • Cheesie’s Pub & Grub, 622 Davis St., with four full-time and 10 part-time employees.
  • Koco Table, 720-1/2 Clark St., with two full-time and three part-time employees.
  • Safari Natural Tea & Herbs, 1630 Orrington Ave., with two full-time employees.
  • Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group, 1700 Maple Ave., with 18 full-time employees.
  • JT’s Bar & Grill, 1639 Orrington Ave., with six full-time and eight part-time employees.

November openings

  • Hevanston Gallery, 529 Davis St., with one part-time employee.
  • Found restaurant, 1631 Chicago Ave., with 30 full-time and eight part-time employees.

December openings

  • Aguas Tortas, 618-1/2 Church St., with three full-time employees.
  • LA Tan, 1607 Benson Ave., with two full-time and one part-time employees.

January openings

  • 27 Live, a restaurant and music venue, 1014 Church St., with four full-time employees.
  • World of Beer, 1601 Sherman Ave., with 15 full-time and 20 part-time employees.

February openings

  • Center for Independent Futures, 1015 Davis St., with 13 full-time and 16 part-time employees.
  • Wheel & Sprocket, 1027 Davis St., with seven full-time employees.

March opening

  • Solay Wellness, 1630 Sherman Ave., with two full-time employees.

All the new businesses replaced others at the same locations that had closed. Some of the spaces had only been vacant briefly, others had been unoccupied for many months.

The report also lists another eight businesses expected to open downtown over the next few months — six more restaurants, an art gallery and a clothing store.

Top: An aerial view of downtown Evanston.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


    1. Necessities

      "Six more restaurants and still nowhere to buy a pair of underpants downtown."

      Try Gap, or American Apparel.   Maybe even CVS, some of their stores actually sell that.

      Or you could take the CTA or Pace to Old Orchard or the Target on Howard.

      A downtown Target would be nice, but the NIMBYs would never allow it.   "Traffic! Parking!  Small , unique local retail! Blah blah blah!"

  1. Center for Independent

    Center for Independent Futures is NOT new.  It loved from Main St across from Vogue; that space is now empty.  Makes me wonder how many others are fake credits.  And will we get a report at the end of each business's lease to learn what percentage has lasted for the first year?

    1. Revolving business

      And a number of these new businesses opened in locations of closed businesses so it isn't clear what the net gain in jobs was (if any).

      1. The meaning of new businesses

        In a built-up downtown that has seen no appreciable new construction since the real estate market went south, the only location for a new business to open is in the former location of a business that closed.

        So, as the story pointed out in the next to last graf, all the new businesses opened in locations where businesses had closed.

        The new businesses created jobs that weren't there while the properties were vacant.

        The story made no claim about whether the net total number of jobs downtown has increased or decreased.

        And, as you can see from this story, the jobless rate went up in Evanston last month.

        — Bill

  2. Negative all the time

    I guess there are some folks that U can never please. Try moving to some of those towns that ONLY have EMPTY spaces or "trash" businesses. After we all survived the "crash" & now are recovering without some of those busineses that would NOT benefit our city, thank you Mayor & City Council. I wonder just how many of the "complainers" sit home on their butts & order their "stuff" from some far away warehouse because it's eaiser & cheaper???

  3. New businesses are good, as long as we taxpayers do not pay

     I have no issue with any new business opening in town, all these business are good, what I oppose is business such as the Wine and Cheese Bar which were funded 100% with our tax dollars and built by city staff.

    While anyone can oppose a business opening up here, those who open these business are taking the risk and using their own funds, and they believe they can make them work, ofcourse some will fail and some will do well.

  4. Impulse buying

    It is true that people do go to some stores to view a product and then order online but…

    Even for books people may go to B&N to price a book but given the number of patrons, I assume many people see other things they want [other books, magazines, on sale books, general merchandise] that they don't know if Amazon will have and just buy it all at B&N rather than bothering.  Some of these stores profit from broswers.

    For things like TVs and other electronics they have Radio Shack and Audio Consultants [high end] both which have a limited selection.  Thus people don't have a great opportunity to 'view' and then order else where.

    I had one experience with ordering clothing [very basic items] and would probably never do it again—and I'm certainly not as picky as I'm sure most people are.

    Evanston could certainly do with a much larger selection of stores that are easily accessable by CTA.  A lot of people don't have cars and don't want to spend all day changing CTA buses/trains and frankly that is what you have to do for Target/ABT/Best Buy.  So for Target the Chicago stores by the CTA are the answer, as is Chicago for so much of what a lot of people want.

    If the Council would not keep so many businesses out of the larger downtown area or even streets like Chicago Ave., Main and Central, I suspect much more would be purchased in Evanston [I know i would] and our taxes could go down.

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