Just days after learning the city will lose more than 70 percent of its over $200,000 investment in one restaurant, Evanston officials Wednesday night will consider making a loan to another restaurateur — one who says he’s about to file for bankruptcy.

The new pitch is from Dave Glatt, late of Dave’s Italian Kitchen on Chicago Avenue.

His planned new spot, at 815 Noyes St., has been the site of four different food venues over the last decade — Kim’s KitchenFraiche Bakery CafeDMK Burger & Fish and Arlen’s Chicken and Biscuits — none of which had a very long lifespan.


At least Glatt’s ask of the city is considerably more modest — $30,000 to help equip the 40-seat Noyes Street spot with pizza ovens and other restaurant gear — compared to the funds the owners of Chicago’s Home of Chicken & Waffles got for their now shuttered 150-seat venue on Dempster Street.

Glatt says his prospective landlord is pitching in with $36,600 in rent concessions, architectural services and improvements to the building.

And he says his friends and family will be putting up another $37,600 toward the project.

Glatt blames everything from the Internet stock market bubble bursting in 2000 and the 9/11 terror attacks to the housing market collapse of 2008 for the failure of his much larger space on Chicago Avenue along with the cost of providing health insurance for his employees.

But he says he hopes at the new place to be able to re-employ much of the staff who he disappointed by closing his old place.

Glatt says the new restaurant, which he plans to call Dave’s IK — the shorter name a play on the smaller space — should benefit from its location near the Noyes Purple Line station, the Northwestern campus and the Noyes Cultural Arts Center.

The plan has the backing of Alderman Judy Fiske, whose 1st Ward includes both the now closed and proposed new Dave’s sites.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Ok, It is not that ong ago

    Ok, It is not that ong ago that Dave's Italian Kitchen closed. They had tables, chairs, place settings, ovens, pizza ovens, stoves, sinks, pots, pans, ………….   What happened to all of the stuff?

    Does Dave need to buy that stuff back or just pay to move it to the new place?


    1. Dave’s Italian Kitchen
      Maybe people weren’t patronizing Dave’s Italian Kitchen because it just isn’t very good. In fact, it was the worst “Italian” food I’ve ever had in a restaurant. I can’t imagine that NU students couldn’t find better spaghetti and meatballs at their local dining halls, and even for the ones who have apartments, how hard is it to boil some pasta, heat up some sauce and ready-made meatballs and throw it all together?

      1. Smug much?

        "How hard is it to boil some pasta, heat up some sauce and ready-made meatballs and throw it all together?"

        As a retired editor who regularly had to deal with many clients who assumed "writing is easy," you and your cavalier remark took me right back to my old workplace. 

      2. Dave’s Italian Kitchen

        Layla, you're absolutely right.  We had the worst Italian meal at Dave's Italian Kitchen a few years ago.  The only redeeming feature about our meal was the discount we received through the Entertainment Book.  I can't imagine that the city would take a risk on a restaurant that doesn't deliver a good product.

  2. City may invest $$ in weak italian food?

    So it was the recession, 9/11, Lehman Brothers, and the healthcare costs, but nowhere does the owner of Dave's Italian Kitchen admit that it was the menu.  Evanston is notorious for awful Italian cuisine and Dave led the way.  The City will lose its $30,000 in less than a year. 

    1. How about some Due Diligence?

      Still unclear why DIK when belly up.  LONG lines on weekends, unusual disco of liquor license, sudden finale. It does not add up.  Is Glatt willing to remove some of the questions by opening his books before the city does anything further with him?

  3. Why should the city finance a business that others won’t?
    Though the prospective landlord, along with Glatt’s friends and family have offered to pitch in, Glatt cannot or will not finance the rest of his business through private contributions or loans. If nobody else will give him the money, why should the city? The amount of taxpayer funds wasted on private businesses in Evanston is already beyond reason. If this is important to Evanstonians, perhaps individuals can make financial contributions. This is not something all taxpayers should be forced to finance.

  4. Dave’s IK
    SERIOUSLY?!? Dave’s Italian Kitchen was a busy place every time I ate there which was quite frequently. He apparently ran this popular hot spot into the ground. His reasons for failure are excuses and I can’t imagine why on earth the residents of Evanston should be expected to fund his next venture in the restaurant business! He’s proven himself to be a bad manager. This is NOT a guy we should be betting on!

  5. No public financing for Dave
    While I understand the fondness some long-time residents have for Dave’s it is time to allow it to come to its natural end. I agree with the other comments that the food was bad. It is also hard to know what restaurant is right for that spot given that so many have failed there. DMK serves up excellent food from multiple places throughout the area, and DMK Burger was another example of their fine work. If they could not make a burger place work there, then we should be skeptical that Dave’s Kitchen is worth the investment.

  6. Reasons they fail
    Kellogg and other organizations have talks about successful businesses. It is easy to find the ‘creme of the crop’ [few or many] in hindsight.
    I would think they—with citizens and esp. the Council present–should have talks by owners who failed—hopefully people can learn from their mistakes. The owner of Dave’s should be a good one to have since he ran a successful business for many years [not like the fly-by-night other businesses that fail in Evanston]. He and other formerly long-term businesses might provide good information for current and potential business start-ups—and hopefully the Council will learn too so they won’t toss so much taxpayer money out the window on what they consider winners.
    Instead of so many restaurants, why not technology and other business ? The Council blew and mis-handled the Research Park and continue to make it hard for businesses to stay in Evanston—taxes, high rents, meaningless regulations.

    1. Restaurants in Evanston
      Well…it seems to be city management’s goal to make Evanston “the most livable city in America”…..and to make sure that people have many food choices here, so they will stay and shop, and want to live here. Not so….you are correct in that most restaurants help promote the SAD diet…(Standard American Diet)…lots of salt, carbs, and sugars….plus huge portions and high prices. Put all of that with parking meters, unaffordable rentals and home prices, lots of street crimes…(including rowdiness of NU students later at night) ….and I would say that the city/council/mayor should be promoting education, recreation, and unity and skip the other junk. It’s not a very livable city.

      1. Reply to Scotty
        I mostly agree with Scotty’s and other posts and was shocked to find that the City has subsidized so many failed ventures while our taxes continue to rise and those of us who have lived here for over 50 years are struggling to afford living here.

  7. This has got to stop.

    It's clear that these are Evanston politicians handing public funds to their buddies, knowing their businesses will fail and the money will never be paid back. Business as usual in this community.

  8. “…we make it up on volume.”
    The Council seems to follow what a business man once said “We lose money on every transaction but make it up on volume.”
    That seems to be the Council and Managers dept of economic. But here it is the taxpayers money they are playing with—read that wasting.

    Some have expressed a “warm and fuzzy” feeling about Dave’s. Maybe they should get a blanket to give them that feeling.
    It would be naive to think it would make a difference, but if all residents would write the Mayor, Manager and Alderman maybe like the farmer said “he had a good mule but sometimes you have to hit him in the head with a 2 by 4 to get his attention. But then they hope the voters will forget about all the waste and screw-ups by election time—and voters seem to do just that.

  9. Really?

    What the hell is the city doing with our tax dollars? Why not fund some small business incubators rather than this kind of foolishness?

    1. funding restaurants & businesses
      VOTE THESE PEOPLE OUT!!!!! Make the aldermen’s terms shorter…..They are all playing with our money….as one of the posts said….let the aldermen put up their own dollars and see how that works for them!

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *