The liquor store chain Binny’s Beverage Depot wants to take over the former Whole Foods store at 1111 Chicago Ave. in Evanston.

Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, has scheduled a community meeting for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, at Lincoln Elementary School, 910 Forest Ave., to discuss the plans.

The family-owned chain, founded in 1948 by Harold Binstein, now has 38 stores, mostly in the Chicago area. 

The Binny’s Lincolnwood store. (Google Maps)

Last year Binny’s opened a store in the former Lincolnwood Produce supermarket property at 7175 Lincoln Ave.

The 31,000 square foot Lincolnwood site also was sold to new investors for almost $10 million just after Binny’s signed a 20-year lease for the property.

Binny’s also has a store at 5100 W. Dempster St. in Skokie.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Good For Binney’s

    I would hope that this one would also carry their great cheeses, deli meats and spreads, and imported cookies and crackers as well.

    1. Binny’s in Skokie for me

      Why pay the extra 6% liquor tax in Evanston? A few miles west on Dempster is a lovely Binny’s without the tax for the privilege of buying liquor in Evansyon. No thanks! 

      1. yeah

        Well..you got me on that one!  I am a Skokie shopper…I was just thinking about convenience for the south Evanston people and those who go to that Jewel anyway.

      2. Keep tax dollars in Evanston

        I’d rather keep my tax dollars in Evanston rather than helping support Skokie. I hope that this comes through. 

        1. I guess if you have that much

          I guess if you have that much extra disposable income, sure spend it Evanston. Not everyone has the luxury. 

      3. Why drive to Skokie?

        The supplemental liquor tax in Evanston on a $20.00 bottle of wine is $1.20. Not worth it  for me to drive an extra 30 minutes, plus gas, to save $1.20. Plus, at least I get to use the services I pay for in Evanston.

        1. 30 minutes?
          Last I checked it doesn’t take 30 minutes to drive a few miles on Dempster. Besides, you are assuming that those of us who live west of Ridge don’t already shop in Skokie – Chicago avenue is a nightmare to navigate, particularly that awful parking lot at the Jewel. I am not going to be responsible for balancing Evanston’s budget mess by giving them more of my tax dollars.

          1. It takes us about 45 minutes

            It takes us about 45 minutes round trip in good traffic to get to the Skokie store from SE Evanston.  I think Skokie drivers and traffic are way worse than  Chicago Ave.  If you hate the taxes and don’t want to contribute to the city you live in — Skokie — land of strip malls and chain restaurants seems to be calling for Jenny.

          2. Taxes . . .
            Hey Jenny, Taxes are what keep a civilization running! If you want fewer taxes, there are suburbs to the south of Chicago . . .

      4. No 6% liquor tax in Wilmette
        I’d suspect a lot of people north of Foster, Noyes or such go to Foremost or Jewel on Greenbay for liquor–esp. NU students. Even for those south of there, a trip north [or west to Skokie] to stock-up can payoff. They also can give free bags which the Jewel employees say customer’s comment on.
        But of course Evanston government thinks they can tax everything and no one will notice. It took years for them to realize the Evanston gas tax did not work—there residents could go to Chicago, Skokie or Wilmette or suburbs where they work/shop.

  2. Great Source of Revenue

    While some city employees were forced to take a furlough day today, I think it would be a great source of revenue to our city’s budgetary needs.  To the Dempster Binny’s comment – some people don’t drive to pick up food and beverages.  

    1. Not worth it! We’d Lose Some of Our Favorite Local Businesses

      If it happens, I think it would most likely cripple or even drive out our very charming smaller wine and liquor shops such as Vinic, The Wine Goddess, and possibly even Sketchbook, leaving our community dependent on Binny’s and devoid of lovely sites for sitting, sipping, socializing. So, although I appreciate the big selection Binny’s has to offer, I would really HATE to see them come in and cause us to lose those other cozy, unique, and locally owned gathering places.

      1. shopping

        Let’s see…..a big, FREE parking lot for Binney’s..or driving around in circles trying to get a parking place at the Wine Goddess or Vinic, et.al….can’t deal with the parking nonsense in Evanston….there are too many places with private lots in Skokie, and Wilmette..VERY close to Evanston’s borders….

        1. It’s funny, the local

          It’s funny, the local businesses you mention are located in such walkable areas. Satisfying the demand for easy parking in any and every location in my opinion leads to great parking lots, not great communities. 

          1. just sayin’

            Well, it’s not walkable for me.  ….and Skokie & Wilmette shops ALL have free parkling, and free lots..all over the place.  No problem there.

    2. Even the Playing Field
      Remove the six percent Evanston liquor tax and more shoppers from outside our borders will drive here to shop instead, bringing in more overall sales — and tax revenue.

    3. Binnys would not create “more” revenue for city
      A new Binny’s would just take the liquor tax revenue already paid by places like Jewel, Trader Joes, Evanston 1st Liquors, Wine Goddess, Vinic. It’s a zero sum game. Like when a Walmart moves into a small town and all the mom and pop independent stores close. Same thing would happen here.

      1. zero sum?

        Oh really, it’s a zero sum game?  More restaurants have brought growing sales & liquor taxes, nothing zero sum about restaurants or the liquor business. 

        And when Borders & Barnes & Noble came to town some people cried out how they would drive out all the small independent book sellers.  Didn’t happen, small guys still here, where is that big ol bad Borders?

        Lately I also hear a lot of people talking how new development proposals will drive out small business, those people also couldn’t be more wrong, in fact, they are seldom ever right. 

        Wine Goddess & Vinic may need to step up, but good independents have a tendency to do that, better personal service and all that.  The zero sum – bad for independent business talk doesn’t hold water.

  3. Yep. This will be a hell of a

    Yep. This will be a hell of a lot more convenient than going through the Dempster traffic mess.

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