Patisserie Coralie, the Davis Street coffee shop, may soon open a new location in the former police outpost on Howard Street in Evanston.

City staff plans to ask the Economic Development Committee tonight to recommend that the City Council approve further due diligence discussions about the 633 Howard St. space with Pascal Berthoumieux.

Berthoumieux, in addition to Patisserie Coralie, also owns the downtown restaurants Bistro Bordeaux and Creperie St. Germain.

He’s proposing moving the kitchen operation at the downtown patisserie to Howard Street and believes that with the expanded production kitchen there he could also serve a wholesale market as well as both cafe locations.

Assistant City Manager Marty Lyons, in a memo to the committee, said several other businesses have expressed interest in the space but lacked the resources to make use of the entire building, while Berthoumieux’s plan would meet that goal.

Lyons says a previous proposal from the owners of the Good to Go Jamaican Cafe, located across the street on the Chicago side of Howard, sought to purchase the building from the city rather than lease it and would have required more financial assistance from the city than the city was inclined to provide.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. City Subsidies?

    Is this proposed deal at the market or will it require subsidies from the City of Evanston?

    If the City deems it necessary to give money, or loan money at a below market rate or any other “sweetheart” deal, i would hope it is structured so that taxpayers can also benefit if this operation is successful.

    Too often City of Evanston deals are structured such that all the upside accrues to the business owner and the downside accrues to taxpayers.

    Remember this is OUR MONEY, TAXPAYER money that is being used.

    Public money for private purposes needs a much higher level of disclosure and transparency.

    I want Pascal’s business to be successful, I want Howard Street to flourish, but i also want taxpayers to be treated fairly.




      Bill, Thanks for the straightforward report about the proposal for Patisserie Coralie to expand to 633 Howard Street. Prior to the city purchasing the building in 2001 for the outpost it was a synagogue.Never in history has this structure at 633 Howard paid a dime into the pockets of the taxpayers. Hopefully, that is about to change. Like Ward 8 and Peckish Pig, this operator will pay his way. Ward 8 and The Pig are amazing business successes based on great business plans, smart operators, fabulous food and drink, beautiful spaces, great service, clean bathrooms, local and far away followings of all ages, etc. Nobody is subsidized, as a matter of fact, they are lining the pockets of the TiF district and sending a very nice income stream to the liquor tax coffer. Both entities have a significant number of employees. It is all good. And to think! Breakfast and lunch at Coralie south, Everyone wants that!

      1. “Alt Facts” by Rainey

        “Nobody is subsidized?” 

        That is a false statement.

        Didn’t Ward 8 and Peckish Pig receive subsidies from the City of Evanston?

        Didn’t the City of Evanston help build a patio for Peckish Pig?

        Didn’t Ward 8 receive “free rent?” If so, that’s a subsidy.

        I frequent both Ward 8 and Peckish Pig and Pascal’s other restaurants. I like them all, but that’s not the point. The City of Evanston SHOULD NOT be giving away our hard earned taxpayer dollars to benefit a private business. The deals are structured in a Heads I win(private owner) / TAILS you lose (Taxpayer) 

        I’m not saving never provide assistance to provide a catalyst for growth in areas of Evanston.

        I’m saying be more selective, and provide terms so that taxpayers also benefit if the business succeeds, and not just by collecting tax revenues.

        Lastly, yes, i’d like to have breakfast and lunch at Coralie South (more convenient location for me) but I don’t want Evanston taxpayers subsidizing a business owner. Pascal and his investors should assume the risks and reap the rewards.


  2. DO IT!!!

    Pascal is a very important entrepreneur for evanston, he was on the cutting edge of the restaurant boom and continues to reinvest in our economy and culture.  We should whole heartedly embrace and help any endeavor of his to Howard street.  The “tax payers”, of which he is certainly a higher generator than anyone commenting on this story, will greatly benefit from his investment and extraordinary commitment to this community.  

    1. Go ahead

      Make a good arguement why taxpayers should pay for Pascal’s private business. If the Howard St. store is a success, and I hope it is, he’ll be rolling in dough. If it fails the taxpayer will have no reason to complain about Evanston government screwing up again.

  3. I ate at the one downtown on

    I ate at the one downtown on Chicago Ave recently.  Very, very slow service, dirty and dinghy, unremarkable food.  Do we really need another one?

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published.