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Downtown holding its own on retail shops

Despite the slow economy, Downtown Evanston has at least held its own as retail businesses have opened and closed during the first half of the year.

That was the report to the city’s Economic Development Committee this week from Carolyn Dellutri, executive director of the Downtown Evanston marketing organization.

Despite the slow economy, Downtown Evanston has at least held its own as retail businesses have opened and closed during the first half of the year.

That was the report to the city’s Economic Development Committee this week from Carolyn Dellutri, executive director of the Downtown Evanston marketing organization.

Dellutri reported that seven businesses had closed and seven new ones opened in the period from January through June.

The shuttered businesses include:

  • Wild Tree Cafe at 1100 Davis St., an independent restaurant that closed in January.
  • Wolf Camera at 616 Davis St., a chain retailer that consolidated locations, that closed its Evanston outlet in February.
  • The Rub at 816 Davis St., an independent health spa business that closed in March.
  • Va Pensiero at 1566 Oak Ave.., an independent restaurant that closed in April.
  • Thriftgeek at 522 Davis St., an independent collectibles shop that relocated to Chicago in April.
  • Enigma Cafe at 1620 Orrington Ave., an independent restaurant that closed in May.
  • Italian Coffee Bar at 1549 Sherman Ave., an independent restaurant that closed in June.

The new businesses include:

  • Clear at 1701 Sherman Ave., a national broadband wireless provider’s retail outlet that opened in March.
  • Cedar Crest Ice Cream at 1634 Orrington Ave., an independent restaurant that opened in April.
  • Phoenix Inn at 608 Davis St., an independent restaurant that re-opened in May after being closed because of a fire.
  • Bombay Indian Grill at 1728 Sherman Ave., an independent restaurant that opened in May.
  • Donatella Mediterranean Bistro at 1512 Sherman Ave., an independent restaurant that opened in May.
  • Andy’s Frozen Custard at 719 Church St., a franchise restaurant that opened in May.
  • FlowersFlowers at 1110 Davis St., and independent floral shop that opened in June, relocating from a location in the Chicago-Dempster shopping district.

In addition to the businesses listed in the Downtown Evanston report:

  • My Panini opened in the former Wild Tree Cafe space this month at 1100 Davis St. and is owned by the same folks who ran the shuttered Enigma Cafe.
  • Pensiero Ristorante has opened in the former Va Pensiero space at 1566 Oak Ave.

And the Italian Coffee Bar at 1549 Sherman Ave., is scheduled have new life as a shop run by the owners of the Brothers K coffee shop on Main Street, and a new frozen yogurt shop, 38 Degrees, is scheduled to open next month in the Church Street Plaza development.

Above: An image of one of seven different designs for Downtown Evanston-sponsored banners that are scheduled to start appearing soon on light poles downtown in a program paid for by local businesses.

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