A team that runs restaurants in Chicago and Wilmette plans to open a brewery, taproom and event space in a property on Ashland Avenue in Evanston’s 5th Ward.

The plans, presented at a ward meeting Thursday evening, call for renovating an existing commercial building on the site.

A rendering showing the planned west and south facades of the renovated building.

Luke Cholodecki, who’s part of the team that also operates the Napolita restaurant in Wilmette and two seasonal restaurants, The Dock at Montrose Beach and Caffè Oliva, at Ohio Street Beach, told residents they hope to have the new property open by spring 2019.

Luke Cholodecki.

Cholodecki said the restaurant would likely operate from about 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and serve lunch, brunch and dinner.

One resident, Betty Sue Ester, said she worried that the brewery would pose a threat to children walking past from Kingsley Elementary and Haven Middle School. But Cholodecki said all the businesses the group operates are family-friendly.

Another resident, Priscilla Giles, said parking was very congested in the area and worried about how the restaurant operation might conflict with schedule of services at the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Kingdom Hall across the street.

Cholodecki said he hoped to work out arrangements with churches in the area to let them use the restaurant’s parking lot in exchange for the restaurant being able to use church lots for overflow parking for events.

A woman who said she is an owner of one of the other commercial businesses on the block said she and other business owners would welcome the addition of the restaurant to the neighborhood.

The property is zoned MXE, or mixed use employment district, in which a craft brewery is a permitted use. The project still needs to receive city approvals for the renovation work and a liquor license.

Paul Zalmezak, the city’s economic development manager, said CrossFit e-Town, which currently operates in the 2125 Ashland space, plans to move to a new location on Main Street.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. This is close to my house in

    This is close to my house in the 5th Ward and am all for this. 

    Interesting how Betsy Ester mentioned in this story is worried about the childrens safety in this instance but was a big voice of support for drug dealing Robert Crayton to open his restaurant near there. I guess a brew pub is more of a risk to children then a person who got caught dealing 80 grams of heroin to undercover police. 

    1. Good point. Wondering the
      Good point. Wondering the same. Why are so many supporting the drug dealing school janitor? I love our current breweries. They only help the area around them.

  2. Excited for this
    I live in the neighborhood as well and I am excited for this.

    I am worried a bit about traffic flow on Ashland created by Suds car wash the next block north.

    Suds is an awful neighbor who uses the public street as a staging ground for its private business.

    It is not uncommon for 20 cars to be waiting on the street, blocking traffic to enter the car wash.

    The brewery will generate more traffic to make the situation more unsafe than it currently is.

    I don’t want to hold it against this endeavor. The real culprit is Suds. They need to figure out a way to stage cars on their own property instead of out sourcing it to the public.

  3. The other three breweries in town

    Smyle, Temperance and SketchBook all serve to substantially freshen up the blocks they now inhabit  – these brew pub operations are a good addition to an area.

    1. Peckish Pig too!
      Don’t forget Peckish Pig on Howard! They also do a good job of brewing their own beer and keeping the area nice!

  4. Brewery

    Suds is an excellent neighbor in that they are the only people in town I let wash my car when I don’t do it myself.  Many of the employees become familiar faces, which implies they are fairly treated there.  For the taxes I pay for our town’s rough roadways, I think I deserve to sit in line on this street for awhile on occasion, particularly when it’s so cold that it’s actually unsafe to wash your own car.

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