A groundbreaking ceremony was held this afternoon at 1026 Davis St. — which by next January is scheduled to become home to two familiar Evanston restaurants and a new one.

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said she came to appreciate how much a restaurant can add to a sense of community in the city after Taco Diablo burned in December 2013 and LuLu’s closed the following month.

The restaurant owners, Dan Kelch and his wife, Laura VanDorf, were joined by a new partner in the rebuilding project, Marty Cless.

Lulu’s and Taco Diablo will be on the first floor of the new building, while upstairs, Kelch says, there’ll be a new concept called Five & Dime.

It will house a bar with a small retro arcade room along with a rooftop dining terrace and beer garden.

At the rear of the second floor an organic garden will provide the restaurants with fresh produce and herbs.

A rendering of the new building, which is replacing the former Tom Thumb hobby story at the site.

The building will also have an 4,000 square feet of ground floor retail space available for lease.

Kelch praised city officials for being very cooperative in moving the project forward, saying it’s much easier to deal with officials here in Evanston than in Chicago.

The development team includes Myefski Architects of Evanston, builders LG Development Group of Chicago and designer A.DeLane Design of Evanston

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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