The brown paper has gone up, marking the closing of another downtown Evanston restaurant.

Thai Sookdee at 1016 Church St. closed over the holiday weekend.

A sign posted in the restaurant window says the business had been in Evanston for more than 25 years, and said the owners are still operating their original location, the Thai Room Restaurant, at 4022 N. Western Ave. in Chicago.

With the closure last summer of 27 Live and the Kefi Greek Tavern next door at 1012-1014 Church St., the new vacancy leaves a big gap on that block of Church Street — although there’s new life in the alley behind Thai Sookdee, where Amy Morton opened her second Evanston dining spot, The Barn, this fall.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. I hope these closings are a reality check

    I hope these closings are a reality check to the City Manager’s beloved Economic Development  pet. Business are leaving our town.  What are you going to do to save our tax dollars that are walking out of town?

    1. Resturant s closing

      i feel that the rent that these restaurants have to pay is running them out of town and maybe if the restruants rent was low then they would stay for more then a few months as was the case of red Robbin burger works and 800 degrees pizza and now 5 guys and the Thai sookdai restruant were in Evanston for years and its bad to see family owned restruants closing and after all Evanston is a college town but everybody likes to eat out I guess Evanston won’t have any more restruants aside from Edzo’s burger shop Evanston needs more restruants with reasonable rent so the restruants can stay here forever

      1. businesses leaving

        You can toss in the Levi’s store on Church also…..parking is TERRIBLE in Evanston, and especially around Church St.   Even when there IS a parking spot…it’s limited, and you have to pay for it……I tried to get to Uncle Dan’s recently, and after circling the blocks for a good 20 minutes, I went home.  Big parking garages are not something that makes me feel comfortable, either, when I am alone.  Oh, well….the big open malls always win out.   

      2. Evanston restaurants

        Wow, why didn’t we think of that. Lower the rents. Blame the landlords. Couldn’t be taxes or public policy, right?

        1. Rent is part of the problem, but not the whole story

          Evanston does have abnormally high rent for the population and supposed foot traffic. Near places in Chicago are much more attractive with lower rent, greater population density, and people not expecting to get close parking in the city. It’s just as bad in Chicago as it is in Evanston, but the difference is that people don’t expect to park within a block of their destination, most of the time. And a lot of others take public trans, unlike here, where it’s for those “unfortunates” who don’t have cars. High-risk rent rates + with most small business people being clueless about advertising and marketing + lack of parking = it’s no secret that many businesses are closing up.

    2. Restaurants leaving

      I don’t think these restaurants leaving is a rent or tax problem.  These restaurants never had any customers.  How could they make any money?

      1. Thai Sookdee

        My family and I ate there quite a bit and usually found it quite busy. The only time business seem to be slower was during Northwestern breaks. We love the food and are very sorry that Evanston is losing a good, reasonably-priced restaurant. 

    3. But [Development group, Council] they don’t care.

      As long as the Council and Development Committee can have a press release and ribbon cutting, they are happy; otherwise the business can go it alone—unless of course they are the ones the Council decides are “winners”in which case they get special rent, grants and loans.

  2. It’s called competition

    Evanston has a huge number of restaurants. Only the best survive. It’s no surprise that that some close- and are replaced by new ones. As for Thai Sookdee, 25 years is a pretty good run. Stop whining about Evanston’s business environment.

  3. Another downtown restaurant closes

    Another victim of artificially arrived at minimum wages, Obamacare costs, ever increasing regulations, and the sheer mindlessness of a progressive business climate. Congratulations. Mandatory minimum wages=lost jobs here and in many other cities around America. Ask the thirty or so people now out of work how they feel about it? 

    1. Obamacare, really? You know
      Obamacare, really? You know those costs to businesses only kick in after 50 employees. If Thai Sook Dee (and other small restaurants) hit that limit they weren’t running that restaurant well.

      I might buy your point about minimum wage (despite the fact servers have different wage laws) but when you throw in every buzz word it weakens your argument.

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