Boltwood, the downtown Evanston restaurant that won critical acclaim after its opening in 2014, is closing.

Chef Brian Huston, who said in 2017 that downtown Evanston needs more development to keep the city’s dining scene successful, has decided to throw in the towel and not renew his lease.

Eater reported today that the restaurant has already closed, but Boltwood’s website still lists several special events later this month and its online reservation system was still active this afternoon.

Huston didn’t immediately respond to an email inquiry about the restaurant’s status.

In any case, a rental listing on LoopNet says the space will be available for a new tenant at the end of February.

The restaurant space at 804 Davis St. is one of several retail condominium units in the base of the Optima Towers building. It’s owned by Daniel Kelch, who formerly operated his LuLu’s Restaurant at the site.

Update 9 p.m.: Kelch says Boltwood has closed. “It’s very unfortunate, an Evanston guy just couldn’t generate the level of support he needed,” Kelch wrote in an email message.

He says there’s no decision yet about a new tenant. But with the for-lease sign up for just one day, there’ve been “lots of calls already. It’s a very good location,” Kelch added.

Evanston’s Taco Bell is no more.

And a couple blocks away, Evanston’s only Taco Bell restaurant, at 1743 Sherman Ave., has shuttered. A sign on the door directs customers to the chain’s outlets in Skokie and Chicago.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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    1. Restaurants
      The continuous churning of businesses and restaurants continue: one in, one out (though with the taco bell closing it’s two out). Why? The finite numbers are those who live a few blocks from downtown. No one is going to drive into the congested downtown which has no free parking. That eliminates thousands of Evanston residents and virtually all other possible diners from other areas. Why would ANYONE deal with the convoluted traffic patterns (Sherman is ridiculous and both restaurants were in or on this street) and then try to find available parking (free or otherwise). If the city fathers cared about this, there are a number of solutions which would mitigate the issue. When a driver pays the city sticker (yes no sticker is actually given), one should receive between 10 and 30 free passes (perhaps more) allowing them free parking in Evanston. THAT would at least encourage some shopping and dining in the downtown area. Alternately a $20 park anytime pass when purchasing a city sticker would achieve the same and provide a substantial revenue source simultaneously. And THAT would be an actual sticker which would be placed in the car’s window.

      Or do NOTHING and pretend the downtown businesses are vital.

  1. I stepped out of the car by

    I stepped out of the car by CVS to get some change for the meter and when I came back, a minute or so after, I had a ticket for $20.  So this cements my already set custome of shopping in the northern suburbs where the free parking is plentiful and architecture quainter and nicer.  Who wants to go to downtown Evanston?  What’s the point?????  We live under the hungry grasp of our city council who grabs, grabs, grabs from our pockets.  What do they use more and more of our money every year for???  Do we have lots more personnel than other towns?  Do we pay for services for people from Chicago perhaps?  I cannot understand.

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