When you talk business in Evanston, you can’t help but talking about the city’s restaurant scene. All but three of this year’s 25 most-read business stories on Evanston Now involved places to eat.

The most mourned — or at least most read about — restaurant closing was of Dave’s Italian Kitchen, which shuttered on Chicago Avenue in April after 44 years in business.

The shutdown came without warning and occurred on the very day when owners Dave and Ellen Glatt were to have received keys to the city from Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl for their work providing free meals for the disadvantaged.

A new, smaller Dave’s opened on Noyes Street later in the year. after a dustup over a proposal, later withdrawn, to provide a city loan for the new place.

The upstairs patio at Five & Dime

The most read-about new restaurant opening came in July — when Five & Dime opened atop the new building at 1026 Davis St.

Owners Dan Kelch and Marty Chess later in the year opened the two ground-floor restaurants in the building — Taco Diablo and LuLu’s — both of which have had previous incarnations in town.

The year ended with the second most-read closing story, about Thai Sookdee at 1016 Church St., out of business after a quarter century, .

And we  saw the loss in 2016 of Davis Street Fishmarket, 27 Live and Kefi Greek Tavern, Five Guys, Phoenix Inn, and a number of spots that didn’t even last a year — including Red Robin, 800 Degrees and Maxwell Style Grill.

(Google Maps image)

But the restaurant scene was also filled with openings — including Alpana Singh’s Terra & Vine in the space formerly occupied by Bravo, Amy Morton’s The Barn in a one-time horse stable in an alley off Church Street, the Whiskey Thief at 616 Davis, YaHala Inn on Church, NaKorn Kitchen on Orrington and Yeero Revolution on Davis.

Other than restaurant news, top stories on the business beat included:

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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