On the Evanston food beat this week … Howard Street may get a new coffee shop, and Jimmy John’s is coming to Chicago-Dempster.

An application has been filed with the city to open a cafe and coffee roasting shop at 633 Howard St. That’s the current site of the police department’s Howard Street Outpost.

With the new dining establishments just east of the outpost — the Ward Eight wine bar and Peckish Pig brewpub — city officials figure the time is right to put a paying tenant into the city-owned outpost building.

741 Howard St.

But the cops won’t be lacking for a drop-in location on Howard. The City Council is scheduled next month to approve leasing a storefront at 741 Howard for a new police outpost. That’s in the building that formerly held the Apple the Second boutique.

Jimmy John’s

The storefront at 1241 Chicago Ave. that’s housed several Evanston restaurants over the years is about to get a new one.

An application has been filed to open a Jimmy John’s sandwich shop at that location.

It and the coffee place on Howard are both scheduled to start their way through the city approval process with an appearances next Wednesday, Dec. 3, before the city’s recently renamed Design and Project Review Committee.

The Chicago Avenue location most recently was home to Carmen’s Pizza which since has moved to 817 University Place, and before that was the site of the Noodle Garden.

Meanwhile, the City Council Monday night:

  • Approved a lease of the city-owned storefront at 2022 Central St. to Lush Wine and Spirits.
  • Approved a $10,500 facade improvement grant for Bangers and Lace, a new restaurant and tavern at 810 Grove St., the former site of The Keg. 
  • Modified the city’s liquor code to permit distilleries to sell liquor in containers as small as 200 milliliters, or abot 6.76 ounces. The change had been requested by Few Spirits, so it could sell holiday-gift-size containers of booze for prices starting around $20. The standard 750 milliliter containers are considered too pricey for gift-givers of moderate means. 

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Another give away of tax payers money!

    Why does the city need to sell this building and lease a new police outpost – this is a huge misuse of our tax dollars again on Howard street, the wine and cheese bar, the now famous patio – and now this-

    If we don't need the police out post – it might be different – then again – I suspect this is another deal – which we taxpayers will lose on.

    The city economic development department – has no interest in creating any sound deals – then again – what deal has Wally done that is sound in a real business sense – or maybe just monkey business?

    1. Sell the building, Junad?

      "Why does the city need to sell this building and lease a new police outpost.." 

      Where does it say that the City is selling the building?  Enquiring minds want to know.  The City owns the building, and it is replacing the police outpost with a paying tenant.  How could you object to that…unless you want the police outpost to remain on Howard.    But wait…the police outpost WILL still be on Howard, just down the road a little.  

      The article states:

      "With the new dining establishments just east of the outpost — the Ward Eight wine bar and Peckish Pig brewpub — city officials figure the time is right to put a paying tenant into the city-owned outpost building.  "

      So what are you complaining about, Junad?  City fills a spot with a rent-paying tenant, Howard keeps its police outpost.  The only possible scandal I can imagine is if the new rent for the police outpost is much higher than what the City gets for its old place…but that is not what you are alleging, Junad.

      In fact, it sounds like the City's development plans on Howard are working.  Ward Eight, Peckish Pig with its fabulous patio, and now a coffee shop….and there is still a police presence.  It looks like Howard is coming back from the dead…the police outpost will keep the violent bad guys away, and the bars will keep the NIMBY bad guys away, so Howard will be an enjoyable street to visit or to live near .

      Congratulations to Wally and Ann Rainey for this great work!  Keep on ignoring the unenquiring cranks and the naysayers. 

      1. Howard St. shell game

        I read the article, looked at the photos and could only conclude that the Police want to move into a coffee shop and a coffee shop wants to move into a police station. What exactly do we gain in this silly, fiscally irresponsible swap. Who will do the build out for the coffee shop? Who will do the build out for the drop in center? This idea that we will be collecting rent is a wash since we will also be paying rent .We will also be incurring substantial construction costs. I guess we will be seeing a lot more city crews on Howard.

        1. City Crews on Howard

          I see them several times a week on Asbury near Howard walking around picking up things people just dropped or threw from cars. Seems to be 3 oe 4 employees.

      2. City Deals on Howard

        History is likely to repeat itself – the Wine and Cheese Bar – is own to lease – the Peckish Pig is own to lease – so why will this deal be different.  Both of those deals are not so favorable to the taxpayers, so it is easy to think the coffee shop deal with be structured the same.

        Your comment about the "fabulous Patio" built by City Workers, without Council approval, should not a reason to claim Wally and Ann do good work!

    2. Once again

      Junad Rizki — once again you are quick to criticize and complain, but as always, you have yet to offer any type of solution. Perhaps people would listen to you if you actually offered something remotely constructive as an alternative to all of the things you label as "waste".

  2. Politically Incorrect?

    I go down Howard quite a bit, and I never see any police use of the "outpost" (the nomeclature itself reminds one of a fort established in "Indian Territory" in the early 1800's – how politically correct is that !).  Most crimianls, without even a hint of intellegence, know that while you may be able to outrun one police officer, you cannot outrun "Motorola".  Get rid of the outpost.  We are not in "Indian Territory".  

    1. Dose of Reality

      I think you need to come up for air – citing the term outpost as politically incorrect?  Amazing. 

      Stop micro analyzing every parlance of our language.  Better yet, stop trying to assign everything to political correctness or incorrectness. 

      This is really over the top… but oh well, this is Evanston. 

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