Evanston aldermen approved liquor licenses for two new restaurants Tuesday night — one on Howard Street, the other on Main Street.

The aldermen issued the city’s first “Class S” liquor license to Ward Eight, which plans to open in a city-owned building at 629 Howard St. once the owners also receive a liquor license from the state.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, got the aldermen to agree to give the approval immediate effect, rather than wait the usual two weeks for a second vote, after saying that the timeline to get a state license can range from one to three months and the state license can’t be applied for until after the city license is issued.

The owners of Ward Eight, Anne Carlson and  Cody Modeer, plan to operate a wine bar and cocktail lounge also serving cheese dishes, salads and sandwiches and offer packaged liquor for sale.

The aldermen also gave final approval to a “Class C” liquor license — the 29th in the city — for NSB Ventures LLC, doing business as The Alcove, at 512 Main St.

Alcove owner Scott Bradley says he plans to serve sandwiches cooked on a panini grill press, side dishes and salads as well as serving wine, beer and cocktails in what he describes as a European-styled neighborhood restaurant.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Small point

    No problem with the bar…however, this is the first I have heard about package liquor sales. That could be a mistake. The typical pacakge liquor customer in that neighborhood could scare away the dine-in clientele and then the establishment, although good intentioned, will become a secondary liquor store. I'll be watching and I bet I am right on with this point.

    1. Don’t think so

      The package liquor that will most likely be available here is not going to be what the "typical package liquor store customer in that neighborhood" is going to be looking for. They will continue to get their inexpensive shelf liquor elsewhere rather than pay a premium for locally distilled gins and bourbons. [Ward Eight plans to sell FEW Spirits from behind the bar.] I live in "that" neighborhood and fully support this establishment.

      1. I hope you’re right

        and that the package liquor that is sold is high-end stuff that won't appeal to the typical consumer.  But given the substantially reduced number of places where one can buy booze on Howard (and in Rogers Park in general), I just hope that the proprietors don't go for the easy money and start selling cheap vodka and whiskey.  It would ensure a profit but drive off their intended clientele.

  2. Remains to be seen…

    I think I see what you're getting at, Anonymous, but I also hope that you're mistaken. If you've ever been down to Maria's Community Bar down in Bridgeport, they offer a selection of craft beer and wines to go from a small "package store" area up front with the bar and seating area behind that. Also in a very diverse socioeconomic area. I would certainly hope that Ward Eight won't be in the business of selling the types of beverages your average service station or carry-out might offer, but offerings that are more representative of their menu. Perhaps someone representing the business can chime in, but I hope that your fears are unfounded.

  3. Maybe

    Maybe it'll be great, maybe it'll succeed and be an asset to the city and the area, but still I just can't get past the whole 'Wine Bar' on 'Howard'.  It seems like almost a random output generator was used to derive two dissimilar items, one is 'business' and one is 'location'.

    I'd love for them to pull it off, but wow, talk about a hill to climb.

    The other spot on Main is cute, but if I remember correctly it's incredibly small.  Unless they're joining two seperate store fronts, or is that the naming strategy of calling it The Alcove…?

  4. Thumbs up

    I also live in this neighborhood and strongly support this establishment. The owners are solid people and the street needs this kind of business.

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