Evanston aldermen have permitted a local restaurant to set up a sidewalk cafe despite objections from some neighbors.

Placido Quintero, manager of Las Palmas, 817 University Place, argued the cafe would help offset the slower business he sees in the summer due to the absence of most Northwestern University students.

This year the economic recession has compounded the problem, he said. An outdoor cafe would make him an extra couple hundred dollars a day, allowing him to retain the hours of some of his employees, he said.

“We have a lot of employees who live in Evanston,” he said at a committee meeting on Monday. “We support their families.”

But residents of nearby apartments said the cafe’s three tables and 12 seats would disturb residents because of their proximity to adjacent apartments.

“We’re concerned with safety, with noise, with property values,” said Jane Driscoll, a resident of Sherman Gardens Apartments, 1860 Sherman Ave. Two-thirds of residents there signed a petition against the sidewalk cafe.

The nearest window of her building is eight feet from the patio, and it’s too close to the street, Driscoll said.

The view of the sidewalk cafe from the nearest apartment window

“You can’t expect people to have a drink and not talk and make noise,” said Bob Brower of 800 Elgin Road, the Optima Horizons condominium across the street. He said residents there voted 3-1 against the cafe.

“In the daytime we have people who work at home,” Driscoll said. “They’d be right next to the people having a good time at the nice restaurant, talking and laughing.”

Donald Schollenberger, a Sherman Gardens trustee and real-estate agent, said it would make nearby units “hard to sell.”

However, dissenters were matched by pro-cafe patrons like Evanston resident Sheila Brand of 1811 South Blvd.

“I would like to see this outdoor cafe because I want this restaurant to continue,” she said. “We’re talking about limited months and we’re talking about limited time and we’re talking about limited tables.”

“The city has an obligation to encourage and support our community’s business efforts in this slow economy,” said Naomi Angel of 2336 Prairie Ave.

Eight of nine aldermen approved the sidewalk cafe. The lone “nay” was Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, who argued that the council should postpone the decision until the city investigates alternatives to the sidewalk cafe as proposed.

But Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, said the permit would soon become useless if the city waits any longer this year.

“Delaying this is tantamount to denying this,” she said.

The permit expires this year to allow city staff to determine an alternative for next year.

The original proposal was for four tables. The council cut the one table closest to the adjacent building.

It also limited the cafe’s hours to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 9:30 p.m. on weekends. The restaurant must stop seating patrons outside at these times.

“I just don’t understand adults not being able to tolerate dining at 8 o’clock at night,” Rainey said. “It’s three tables.”

Top and below: Manager Placido Quintero stands by his restaurant’s new sidewalk cafe, which he set up on Tuesday.

Join the Conversation


  1. rapping?
    “In the daytime we have people who work at home,” Driscal said. “They’d be right next to the people having a good time at the nice restaurant, talking and rapping.”

    I find this argument interesting. The planning/zoning extremists in Evanston are always arguing about the need to keep neighborhoods ‘residential’ when they want to prohibit development anywhere near their homes. ‘Zoning continuity’. R1 neighborhoods must be surrounded by other R1 neighborhoods.

    This person is arguing that “people who work at home” will be disturbed by the restaurant next door.

    Who is working at home? Are they running home-based businesses? Is this permitted by the zoning regulations? Shouldn’t working at home be prohibited, in order to preserve the residential nature of Sherman Gardens?

    And what is meant by ‘rapping’?

    1. Working from home
      We have writers, editors, web site and graphics designers and artists living in this building. All who work out of our homes. None who have any sort of employees or customers coming and going. Nothing that could be described as a “business” but is still income producing for self-employed folk. The word “rapping” is a mis-quote. Since they didn’t bother spelling her name correctly, I’m sure that’s not too far a stretch of the imagination.

      1. Corrections
        Thank you, Ms. Petersmarck, for pointing on these factual errors, which I regret. “Rapping” is a slang for “chat,” and this is what I thought she said and meant. However, upon reviewing again my recording of the session, I found she originally stated “laughing.” Again, I regret these errors and thank you for bringing them up.

  2. C’mon, is this any more
    C’mon, is this any more obtrusive than all the other sidewalk cafes in Evanston? If anything, it’s less so, because it’s not even on the sidewalk and isn’t right smack in the middle of pedestrian traffic flow.

  3. I see, outdoor seating is the cause of the housing downturn
    Three outdoor tables will disrupt people living in a HIGHRISE across the street?

    Three outdoor tables would make nearby units in a midrise building “hard to sell?” This from a Realtor?

    My God, the level of nimbyism in Evanston is astounding. Alderwoman Judy Fiske should be ashamed. In case anyone noticed, downtown Evanston is a DENSE area.

    Downtown Evanston IS NOT a plush and sprawling suburbia with large manicured lawns and small minds….uh, well, maybe the latter is debatable.

    1. This sidewalk cafe has
      This sidewalk cafe has effectively reduced our two bedroom co-ops to one-bedroom – with the commensurate drop in resale value. Who is going to buy a unit where one whole half of the residence backs up to a noisy restaurant outdoor cafe and becomes unusable for six months of the year?

      1. It isn’t the sidewalk cafe
        I don’t think that it is the sidewalk cafe that is reducing the property values…there is something much more hideous at that location. A big green utility box! Is that one of those infamous AT&T monstrosities?

        Surely that, not the sidewalk cafe, is responsible for any reduction in property value. The cafe will probably improve property values, by blocking the view of the metal box, and distracting buyers’ attention from the box.

      2. Your building is a CO-OP?
        You had to be “voted by a board to buy into your building – CO-OP?

        My house has dropped $400k with out a restaurant, or a drive thru Bank, or a Pizza parlor or a print shop or a terribly busy intersection. I think I would blame myself for such a goofy LOCATION to buy. Location, location, location.

        I live in North East Evanston.


      3. thanks
        I am so happy to hear Las Palms has an outdoor patio!! Thanks you for calling so much attention to it. I will be sure to visit during lunch and bring all 3 of my kids to enjoy the outdoor eating with me!

  4. Staff/Aldermen turn blind eye to code violations
    First and foremost, no one at Sherman Garden was delivered a notice of this P&D meeting by mail. They were to have been postmarked by July 31st. Notices weren’t even posted on Las Palmas door until Friday, August 7th. Nor did Mr. Quintera contact our management company to ask permission to distribute notices. Direct code violation.

    Second, Aldermn Rainey, I WORK from my home during the afternoons and evenings, and I challenge you to concentrate with people laughing and talking 8 feet away. NINE hours a day, SEVEN days a week. People talk and laugh louder outdoors, especially next to a busy street when they have to shout to be heard across the table. I can work with the “white noise” of traffic and the trains, but I’m having a hard time with the shouts of talk and laughter that go along with enjoying a meal outdoors. Plus the smells! The prevailing southwest breeze brings it all into my home instead of the fresh air I have the windows open to get. I am condemned to air conditioning with noise (yes, you can still hear them with the windows closed) or fresh air with louder noise and food smells.

    I quote from the application: “Will not have a substantial adverse impact on the use, enjoyment or property values of adjoining properties.” This has turned my home into a nightmare for NINE hours of the day. How can you not see that this is a substantial adverse impact?

    1. Follow her link
      I see that Ms. Petersmarck has set up a website to document this outrage:


      She is documenting and photographing the outrageous behavior and code violations at Las Palmas.

      For example, today she noticed that some patrons who were dining outside actually had portions of their chairs extended onto the sidewalk! A clear violation!

      Moreover, when Las Palmas was notified of this atrocity, they failed to correct it!

      Where are the police? Busy chasing petty robbery suspects on Chicago Ave who supposedly committed crimes outside of our city limits? Why don’t they do anything about crimes like this that take place right in our downtown?

      1. Please, follow that link
        Seriously, folks, you should follow that link. She is observing everything that takes place on the patio, taking pictures of people, apparently listening to their conversations.

        Note the following:

        “Placido has been out there fawning over them and I heard him telling them that it took him 3 hours last night to get his permit. He also told them he has tables with umbrellas coming tomorrow. They cleaned up by 8:20.”

        This restaurant sounds nice. Placido really takes care of the customers…he fawns over them.

        I am glad that they got their permit. I want this business to be successful.

    2. What about Lou Malnati’s?
      I trust that you have vehemently opposed their sidewalk cafe as well? Or do the residents who live on that side of the building not notice much of a problem from it? It is very close to windows and balconies of units in the same complex, and I find it strange that no one has made the comparison between the two restaurants.

      If I were an elected official, I’d have a hard time saying yes to one restaurant and no to another, when they’re both in the same situation.

  5. Wow – Now here’s an important topic!
    I will make a point to stop by the cafe to experience the apparent offensive nature of it’s existence, just to be fair. But I have a feeling it’s not as bad as Ms. Petersmarck is making it out to be. I also checked out the blog and was mildly amused. She doesn’t seem to working much at all, since she has the ability to detail everyone’s movements. I’m very happy I’m not a neighbor of this person.

  6. You got the 1800 Club
    Ms Petermarck, you got the 1800 club 100 feet from your building,YOU PUT UP WITH 50+ College kids screaming drunk on Mondays and thursdays and weekends,just put up with three tables of people eating will you.

  7. Forget the outdoor tables, what about that dangerous AT&T box?
    Hey, Ms. Petersmarck, how do people who work from home and live in the city of Chicago ever manage? You live in a midrise building across a two-lane street from the three outdoor tables – how can it possibly be a nuisance to you even if you live on the first floor?

    And now you have a blog telling us the names, conversations and alleged infractions of chairs on sidewalks, umbrellas blocking stop signs, diners in wheelchairs, ad nauseum? How do you find time to spy on diners while working from your home?

    BTW Ms. Petersmarck, did you notice the large AT&T uverse box behind the outdoor tables? (you can see it in the picture on this site) I hear those boxes constantly make humming noises, and can cause dizziness or fainting spells or make you glow in the dark if you’re next to it for long periods at a time. Do ya think it could be affecting your health and safety since it’s next to your residence?

    Maybe, you should start a blog about that box disrupting your work, spying and blogging about those bourgeoise Las Palmas diners. Or, at least do the neighborly thing, and shout down from your midrise window and warn these darling dining patrons that they’re sitting near harm’s way, especially that guy in the wheelchair.

    Just sayin.

    1. Outdoor seating
      I went by to see what all the excitement was about and expected the worst.
      I don’t like eating outside and have found many outdoor spots to look like a bad after thought to ‘do what everyone else was doing.’
      In fact it I was the owner that is exactly the spot I’d have put it if the parking lot could not
      be sub-divided.
      While both restaurants may have had periods where they were empty, there have been restaurants there since at least the late 60’s and so people knew what to expect when buying. I bought near the stadium years ago and certainly expected it to be used, just like the theaters—though I can’t say I’m not glad NU has had fewer events and improved bus transportation to events and the passing of the theaters brought a lot less foot traffic and vandalism/graffiti.
      I would have expected the ‘Stop Sign’ to have caused problems but apparently the city did not find a violation.

  8. If you want total peace and
    If you want total peace and quiet, move to northern Wisconsin!

    Editor’s note:
    Suggesting neighbors move out of town is not neighborly. I don’t think “Love it or leave it” fits the communal vibe here in Evanston, do you?
    Please, no more comments along this line.
    — Bill Smith

  9. Live near downtown, expect some noise
    This argument about a few tables in a business transitional area is ludicrous. Reminds me of people who live near Wrigley Field and complain about crowds and parking issues.

  10. Optima Horizons opposed this? Why?
    I took a walk by this site yesterday around lunchtime. It was a really nice day and two of the three tables were occupied.

    I challenge anyone to sit at one of these tables and be loud enough to be heard from the closest unit in Optima Horizons. (Keep in mind that the lowest unit in that building is on the 5th floor, and they’re across the street… which is pretty busy) You would have to literally be screaming at the top of your lungs to be heard from there.
    I would think that Optima Horizons would have bigger issues with the 1800 Club and it’s 50+ person outdoor patio that attracts hordes of drunken college students. But, of course that outdoor cafe was there when they made the decision to buy a condo…

    Now, the neighbors at Sherman Garden might have a more legitimate complaint. The two or three people who’s units are directly next to this can probably hear people out there when their windows are open. Of course, they can also hear cars and trucks driving by, and hear people talking as they walk by on the sidewalk and most definitely hear the 1800 club at midnight on a Saturday (it definitely gets loud sometimes), so I’m not sure that 3 tables at Las Palmas operating only during daylight hours is really contributing any more noise to the area.

    Alas… I will enjoy reading “Sidewalk Cafe Regulation Watch” so I can keep up to speed on all the violations such as bringing uncovered food out from the kitchen to the patio (just like every other sidewalk cafe in the US does)… hilarious.

    1. sidewalk cafe regulation watch
      “Optima Horizons opposed this? Why?”

      I spoke to a resident of Horizons about this…I was told that management publicized the application for the cafe and actively solicited comments. Most residents – the overwhelming majority- did not respond. Of those who did respond, it sounds like the figure of 75% opposing is accurate. But 75% of what? 75% of those who cared enough to respond.

      My guess is that this was like the Civic Center ‘Referendum’…most people don’t care, but the noisy minority shows up to vote. ( Or to put it in a more contemporary context: the ‘Town Hall’ meetings on health care reform, where a bunch of noisy old people on Medicare come out and campaign against government healthcare, while all of the reasonable people stay home.)

      I also enjoy the ‘Sidewalk Cafe Regulation Watch’…I hope that she updates it often. Here is a comment from yesterday:
      “Chair in sidewalk – slightly – not sure it’s worth calling them about”

      No, Diane, it is really not worth calling them about it.

      1. August 13 at Las Palmas
        Here is today’s entry at the Cafe Regulation Watch website:

        “Just watched the lunch “crowd” of 7 people come and go. Could Mr. Quintera have been exaggerating a bit when he said he got lots of phone calls daily asking for a sidewalk cafe?”

        If only 7 people show up, that is evidence that nobody really wants the sidewalk cafe. If a lot of people show up, she will complain about all the crowds. Poor Placido just can’t win.

        I haven’t been to Las Palmas for years…nothing wrong with it, put it is just not as delicious as IHOP…but I think that I am going to be visiting soon.

      2. free debate
        This woman obviously feels strongly against having a outdoor cafe next to her living quarters. Unless you live in the immediate area I fail to see how you can take exception to her arguments.

        This is another example of today’s social networking technology allowing any troll or group of trolls to berate a viewpoint that does not comply with their own. It’s classic bullying, 21st century style.

        Let the people whose daily lives this situation affects work it out. Everyone else should at a minimum show a bit of compassion for other people’s convictions. Constructive debate is always a good thing, but mocking someone mercilessly into submission is not the type of community I want to see Evanston evolve into.

        Mr. Who Knows…knows better.

        1. free debate requires enquiring minds
          RacerX’s comments raise many issues:

          “This woman obviously feels strongly against having a outdoor cafe next to her living quarters. Unless you live in the immediate area I fail to see how you can take exception to her arguments.”

          I disagree with the idea that those who ‘live in the immediate area’ are entitled to any sort of deference. The classic example of NIMBYism, of course, is the person who buys a house next to the airport and then complains about the noise of the jets. We cannot let these kind of people impede progress (such as building a new runway at O’Hare) just because they are the most impacted and they live in the immediate area. We should do what is best for the city overall, protect property rights, and promote progress and NPV. This is why I have spoken out against the people who live in Sherman Plaza and don’t want their views blocked by the new 708 Church tower..or those who opposed development at Kendall.

          As for “bullying”…let’s consider her blog again. This blog was set up immediately after the cafes were created- this is not a person reacting to an unpleasant situation, but someone who is clearly looking for trouble from the start. She was not interested in waiting to see how the cafe would work out. Instead, she set about recording every petty code violation (real or imagined). Consider the following statement:
          “If I’m lucky I can get a picture of one of the wait staff colliding with a pedestrian.”

          Oh yes…that would be nice.

          Most importantly, this is not just a private matter. She is sending all of her petty complaints to City officials. Do we want City government – and development policy – to be run by small special interests who get their way by making the most noise? This would not be democracy, but kakistocracy (from the ancient Greek for “rule by the NIMBYs”). Every time someone proposes change or development in this city – whether at Kendall or 708 Church or Eastwood & Central or wherever…a small noisy group of neighbors rises up to put their own interests before the good of the public. (This is what launched the political careers of Judy Fiske and Melissa Wynne.)

          Finally..the complaints here are so patently unreasonable. Not big crowds of drunk fratboys, not disturbing the peace at night, not even the usual ‘traffic’ bogeyman …but people talking and laughing at lunch or dinner during working hours. At the periphery of the downtown district! Do we want downtown Evanston to be a morgue in the middle of the day?

  11. Please forgive my “love it or
    Please forgive my “love it or leave it” comment. My apologies. The residents of Sherman Gardens, however, knew they were moving into a place with many commercial buildings around it, as well as Northwestern University. Las Palmas has been an Evanston tradition for what, thirty some-odd years now? They did not flee th city when their old building was sold, rather, they looked to remain in Evanston. We need more stable businesses in Evanston like Las Palmas. Most sidewalk cafes demand that waiters/waitresses cross the “public way” to deliver food. Many crowd the sidewalk so badly you can just barely squeeze by. I, for one, will continue to patronize this restaurant. I find it hard to believe anyone is spending time documenting every conceivable infraction. If they were blatant or obnoxious, that would be a different story, but a chair inches onto the sidewalk and a stop sign impared at the very bottom (clearly not blocked) from exactly one angle is going too far.

  12. How about a compromise?
    It looks like there might be room for a tall wooden screen (six feet tall, for example, and not lattice) near the big ugly AT&T box.

    Perhaps a tall wooden screen would help reduce the noise and perhaps the smells that the nearby blogger hates? And it might enhance the looks of the outdoor seating area.

    I put up with plenty of noise where I live in Evanston — boom-boom cars late into the night and yahoos partying in the park until past midnight. Welcome to the 8th ward! We’d be happy to have a little outdoor cafe near our homes. Many of us don’t have a decent food store or restaurant within a 15-minute walk of our homes. Sigh.

    To the blogger — you seem to spend a lot of time watching the restaurant then writing about it and complaining to the city about it. I don’t know if that is time well spent. It must be reducing the amount of time that you can work and otherwise enjoy your life.

    Why not check into the costs of buying and renting a wooden screen then, once you have those costs, propose that the restaurant try it as a solution to the problems that you have with the current arrangement? Maybe some of your neighbors would join you in the proposal.

  13. UberNIMBYs
    For anyone old enough to remember the “Bewitched” TV series from the 1960’s–yes, the one with two Darrens, that one—all I can say is: “Gladys Kravitz!” Hahahahahaha! The stop sign is slightly obscured, the chair is encroaching the sidewalk by millimeters! Make it stop, please, make it stop!

    The smell of the food is “nauseating.” I wonder, if this was a five star FRENCH restaurant, would this still be the same tragedy? My gosh, MEXICAN FOOD! THOSE people are working ON MY STREET. What’s next, a soul food restaurant, a Jamaican jerk chicken stand, a Jewish deli and an Irish pub? The horror, the horror!

    Actually, I feel for the terror some folks feel when rules are broken. The world starts spinning topsy-turvy out of control. Rules were meant to be followed. Ve ver only following orderss….oops.

    1. let’s try to be civil folks
      Let’s try and be civil in our debate. Implied racism is easy and cheapens your argument.

      Smelling the same foods, no matter the ethnic origin, all day every day could be overwhelming to some. It is not for you to judge what is upsetting to some and not to others.

      And Nazi comparisons? Surely you can tax your gray matter to come up with more solid backing of your argument than this tired, sorry reference.

  14. Las Palmas needs a mariachi
    I went by the place on Friday, and it was pretty quiet. Not a whole lot of action.

    The place really needs a mariachi group to liven up patio scene. It doesn’t need to be big…maybe only three violins and one trumpet to accompany the guitar, guitarrón, and vihuela.

    1. Where are the falcons?
      Don’t want to distract from the sidewalk cafe discussion, but I couldn’t find where to initiate a comment, so tacked it on here. I’d like to know if anyone has news of Evanston’s falcons. They seem to have disappeared while I was on vacation two weeks ago. No overhead shrieks, no poop or pigeon carcasses on my patio or city sidewalks. Has there finally been a reality check imposed on this nuisance, or have they just migrated elsewhere for awhile?

    2. Las Palmas Mariachi
      I wouldn’t want to be a neighbor, if the restaurant had a mariachi, although it would be a nice addition to dining.

      1. mariachi on Elgin Rd
        “I wouldn’t want to be a neighbor, if the restaurant had a mariachi, although it would be a nice addition to dining.

        It probably would be excessive to have the mariachi out there all day. They could spend most of their time inside Las Palmas, serenading the diners inside.

        But if some is celebrating their birthday outside, then the mariachi should come out to the patio with a nice tres leches cake or maybe a flan with a candle in it and sing a birthday song, like they do at IHOP .

        It would be nice..going to Las Palmas on your birthday would be a special part of Evanston’s unique culture.

  15. Downtown Evanston & a Sidewalk Cafe
    If people prefer to live right in the center of a downtown commercial area they should accept that during the summer months there are those who like to dine outdoors. And it’s a plus (in my opinion) when a restaurant has an outdoor cafe. There are times I dine with friends who specifically want to select where we go based on which places offer outside dining. How silly of people to actually object to someone trying to enhance their business for what amounts to a few evenings A YEAR (when you consider Chicago weather) by offering three tables. I’d say Las Palmas should kick up a fuss that all those high rises are taking away some of the charm of HIS surroundings!

  16. too many sidewalk cafes
    I think Evanston has granted too many sidewalk cafe permits. We’ve got too many sidewalk cafes going in our town.

    People who live in our mixed-use buildings (or next to them) may well have moved there not knowing they were moving into close proximity to noisy outdoor restaurants. Those of you who live in strictly residential neighborhoods: imagine living next to someone who has a 5-hour backyard barbecue every single evening, with booze served.

    These sidewalk restaurants block at least half of the sidewalk and detract from the pedestrian character of our downtown.

    Homeless people use the sidewalk cafes at Starbucks, Cosi and other fast food outfits as sit-down pandhandling bases. Once a panhandler sets up operations, no one wants to sit on either side of him.

    The sidewalk expansions take up space rain or shine, patrons or no patrons.

    Most of them are not particularly pleasant to sit in.

    Why are restaurateurs granted free public space on our sidewalks? Suck it up, restaurateurs. I’m not granted a guaranteed space in front of my house to park my car. Why should you have one for parking your tables?

    1. pedestrian traffic on Elgin
      “These sidewalk restaurants block at least half of the sidewalk and detract from the pedestrian character of our downtown.”

      This might be an issue for Celtic Knot or Cosi, but Elgin&Benson has almost no pedestrian traffic. The cafe is not getting in anybody’s way.

      As for homeless guys using the tables, that just indicates that the managers of Cosi or Starbucks don’t care…or aren’t paying attention. I doubt that Placido would put up with this kind of behavior. According to the Las Palmas Sidewalk Cafe Regulation Watch blog, Placido is always out there fawning over customers….he’s not going to let some panhandler sit at his table. Anyway, there isn’t enough pedestrian action over there to attract panhandlers.

    2. Sidewalk cafe smoking violations
      And the smoking violations in Evanston’s sidewalk cafes are flagrant. This is the third summer since the city passed its no-smoking-in-sidewalk-cafes ordinance. While it’s been a better summer in terms of compliance than the first two, I still see people smoking in the sidewalk cafes nearly daily. Often, they try to hide it under the table so the restaurant’s staff inside can’t see it. But pedestrians can see it – AND SMELL IT – and it’s obnoxious. And anyway, restaurant staff don’t care . . . as long as no one gets caught.

      Or patrons get up and go two feet away from the dining area to smoke. And/or the establishment’s staff come out and join them on their smoke break. This violation of the 25-feet-from-business-doorways is widespread in Evanston. I’ve never seen even a hint of anyone being ticketed or warned.

    3. re: too many sidwalk cafes
      I don’t think I’ve ever disagreed more with a comment on this board before.

      I don’t think Evanston has enough sidewalk cafes, frankly. I’d love to see higher end restaurants like Pete Millers add one, and I’d probably eat at Gio more if they had one too. They’re great for business, give additional activity to the street and in general make the area more attractive. People want to go someplace where they see lots of other people going. So, putting some tables outside and filling them with customers is a great way to generate this kind of buzz.

      People who live in mixed-use buildings in the downtown area, especially above or next to restaurants that have been operating outdoor seating areas for years should know what they’re moving in to. Downtown is a busy place and that means it’s going to be a little noisy from time to time. If this environment bothers someone, they should consider moving into a residential area of Evanston instead.

      Yes, they block some of the sidewalks in some cases, but for the most part the pedestrian traffic in Evanston is not heavy enough for this to cause an issue for anyone. Most of the outdoor cafe seating in Evanston is located in areas where pedestrian traffic is completely unaffected.

      Homeless people? This is a management problem. I’ve never seen a homeless person asking for money from people at Bravo, Bat 17, Bar Louie, Nevins, and other places because the managers there don’t tolerate it and will call the cops. Starbucks lets these guys come in and use their bathrooms, and they don’t seem to mind if they camp outside all day. That’s there decision, and to be honest it doesn’t seem to affect their business too much.

      The cafe’s take up space. Not sure I see the problem here, as I’d rather look at tables and umbrellas than a swath of unused concrete.

      Most of them are actually very pleasant to sit in. I love reading the paper and sitting outside at Argo Tea and Unicorn Cafe watching people walk by. I love enjoying a burger and beer at Nevins while doing the same.

      Free access? Better check your facts on that one. I know restaurants have to have annual permits and somehow I doubt they’re free.

    4. Homeless at CVS
      CVS is becoming a very un-attractive spot to shop given the panhandlers [sometimes multiple] that are always there.
      Students seems to be big donors [evidence that the tuition is still not high enough for them, or rather their parents?]. But then with the number of people who use the handicap door [with signs on it] instead of the revolving door, little more could be expected. They never seem to have learned about A.C. or heating expense or they have no concept of the enviornment or care—other than when they want to protest some pet cause like no dams so the snails can be saved.

      1. Panhandling at cafes
        The Panhandling in this town is out of control. Some of the worst locations, which I refuse to patronize any longer are: The CVS and Starbucks on Sherman, Jewel and Whole Foods on Chicago,and Tommy Nevins to name a few. I have contacted the Police and have signed complaints on several of these ‘bums’ using the following city ordinance. I suggest more do the same. Loc Ord. 9-5-31

        1. It shall be unlawful to engage in an act of panhandling when the person being solicited is located in a sidewalk cafe…
        2. It shall be unlawful to engage in an act of panhandling when either the panhandler or the person being solicited is located at any of the following locations: at a bus stop; …in a sidewalk cafe, or within twenty feet (20′) in any direction from an automated teller machine or entrance to a bank.

        (C)Aggressive Panhandling Prohibited: It shall be unlawful to engage in an act of panhandling in an aggressive manner. A person’s manner is aggressive if the person engages in any of the following actions:

        1. Panhandling a person who is standing at an automated teller machine while located within ten feet (10′) of that person.

        2. Panhandling a person who is standing at an automated teller machine while the person is standing at the machine and within fifteen (15) seconds after the person begins to leave the machine.

        3. Repeating a panhandling request when the person solicited is stationary and has refused an immediately prior request made at that location. Examples of a person who is stationary include, but are not limited to:

        a. Someone waiting in line, at a bus stop, or for a traffic signal, or

        b. Someone seated on a public bench or in a car parked or stopped in a public street or alley.

        4. At any time immediately before, during, or after the panhandling request, touching the solicited person without that person’s consent.

        5. Panhandling while blocking the path of the person solicited or the entrance to any building or vehicle.

        6. Following behind, alongside, or ahead of the person solicited during or after the panhandling request.

        7. Directing profane or abusive language at the person solicited at any time immediately before, during, or after panhandling.

        8. Immediately before, during, or after panhandling, making any statement other than the panhandling request or acting in any other manner which, in light of the circumstances taken as a whole, i.e., darkness, would cause a reasonable person to feel harassed, intimidated, or compelled to contribute.

        1. StreetWise OK, Panhandling NO WAY
          I totally agree with this post, the panhandling is way out of control.

          I do patronize and respect the StreetWise vendors who are actually selling something in efforts to help improve their lives.

          But the panhandling has got to stop. Not sure why Evanston is such a harbinger for this activity.

      2. ‘Homeless at CVS’ but really a slam on NU students, why??
        Why blame Northwestern students for the fact that neither local CVS management nor the Evanston police have a grip on the panhandling situation? Yes, it’s out of control in front of CVS and several other locations in the city, another obstacle to the conduct of residents’ daily business. The fact that a slice of the student population hasn’t yet learned to take a hard line on panhandling has nothing to do with it. SOME kids grow up being taught to share and be empathetic – don’t malign it.

        1. Agreed
          I agree, why blame the students regarding panhandling?

          It obviously appears that the poster who cites this blame has some grudge against students, or wait, most likely a grudge against anyone who can afford to send their kids to college which must equate to affluent families. Is that correct, another cite to demonize the wealthy? Sounds right on here in our fair activist community of Evanston.

        2. ‘Homeless at CVS’ but really a slam on NU students, why??
          There are plenty of outlets for students to give their 10% that help those who are truely in need both for food, shelter and mental health.
          If students want to help those on the street, offer to buy them a sandwich or if they say they need money for transportation, take them to the bus/train and pay their fare. Many times over the years I’ve offered these and 100% turned down and cursed at. They don’t want food or transport, they want money. Some of the churches and other agencies can deal with their real problems.

      3. Dislikes panhandlers & college students?
        How did you manage to turn a complaint about panhandlers at CVS into a direct attack against the intelligence of students at NU?
        Seeing that you cannot put together a comprehensive comment without rambling about some perceived connection between the presence of panhandlers at CVS and the misuse of the handicap door, I would suggest that you refrain from insulting college students.
        Also, many panhandlers in Evanston are not there to cause trouble but to stay out of trouble themselves by avoiding the city streets. Without considering their plight, you look at their outward appearance and judge them to be unworthy of any compassion because obviously, their laziness got them into that situation, right? Well, I happen to know the man who often stands outside of CVS. He is homeless not because he is lazy or uneducated but because he was unfairly fired by an Evanston business. His lawyer is in the process of suing the establishment, but meanwhile, he is homeless. So when you see a panhandler, instead of grumbling about how his presence turns you off from CVS, can you take a minute and consider that this man may just be going through some hard times and can use some compassion?

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