The owners of JT’s Bar and Grill, which is moving into the long-vacant Omaggio space at 1639 Orrington Ave. downtown, say they hope to open sometime next week.

The menu will feature breakfast all day as well as burgers and other American fare.

They’re also applying for a liquor license, which will be on the City Council’s agenda on Monday, Oct. 22.

The owners told the Liquor Control Board this afternoon that they think maybe customers on Sunday morning would like “a Bloody Mary with their pancakes.”

Omaggio closed in July 2008.


Cheesie’s Pub & Grub, which opened at 622 Davis St. last week to strong reviews from Northwestern students, wants to add beer and wine to its focus on grilled cheese sandwiches stuffed with everything from french fries to chicken tenders.

Owner Chris Johnston told the liquor board the booze is only 23 percent of his business at his year-old location on Belmont in Chicago, and he expects it will be about the same in Evanston.

“The liquor is not the main focus, but it’s a good addition to what we’re doing,” Johnston said.

Johnston says he hopes eventually to expand the restaurant concept to other college towns.

Wine Goddess

Evanstonian Diana Hamann, who’s been offering her consulting services to restaurants and individual oenophiles as The Wine Goddess for several years, has applied for a license to open a retail wine shop at 702 Main St.

Until recently that was the location of Healthy Green Goods, a vendor of eco-friendly products which is shifting to an online-only sales model.

The Cheesie’s and Wine Goddess license applicaions will also be on the City Council’s Oct. 22 agenda.

Prana Cafe

Griffin Cox, owner of the Prana Cafe at 1840 Oak Ave., reports he’s now open for business, offering “a full espresso bar, artisanal paninis, contemporary salads, fresh smoothies, and French pastries made in house daily.”

The cafe’s hours are 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. And the mayor is scheduled to stop by for a ribbon cutting at 1 p.m. on Oct. 29.


Northwest Evanston residents who may have hoped they’d driven a stake through plans for a McDonalds at 2500 Gross Point Road in August may have to do battle again.

The chain’s plans for a drive-in at the site, which drew a negative review from the ciy’s Site Plan and Appearance Review Committee, are now headed for the Zoning Board of Appeals.

The proposal appeared on the agenda issued Wednesday for the ZBA’s Tuesday, Oct. 16, meeting, but a revised agenda issued today indicated the proposal is to be “tentatively laid over” until the Nov. 13 meeting.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Filling vacancies

    Great post… very informative. It's good to see some long-vacant spots filling up, including the World of Beer space and the Bright Horizons (old-old Borders) space.

    I was surprised to see last night while walking past the JT's location that it has a sports-bar oufitting. I have no love for televisions in restaurants and this one, at least right now, has several in all directions.

  2. McDonalds, or just no drive in ?

    I'm unclear from the story.  Did they think they killed just the drive in, or the reguar McDonalds facility, or that McDonalds would build without the drive in?

    Given the hot dog place at Central and Gross Point is even worse for traffic, I can't see the argument against McDonalds with no drive in.

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