Hecky’s Barbecue, a fixture at Emerson Street and Green Bay Road in Evanston for 37 years, reopened today on what would have been founder Hecky Powell’s 72nd birthday.

Powell died on May 22 of COVID-19.

His widow, Cheryl Judice, told the city’s Economic Development Committee in September that Powell had been planning to remodel the carry-out restaurant for the first time since it opened when he fell ill, and she decided to move forward with the project after his death.

The estimated cost of the project was just over $290,000 and the city agreed to provide $50,000 in support for the work.

In addition to his popular barbecue dishes, Powell had been known for his efforts to provide jobs and training for young people in the community, and Judice has said she plans to continue that practice.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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