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A long-vacant space in the Hahn Building on Orrington Avenue downtown has been leased for a new Italian restaurant.

Marco Ferrarini and Christopher Casas are seeking a liquor license for the restaurant in the space at 1620 Orrington that most recently housed the Enigma Cafe, and before that Cafe Ambrosia.

The new full-service restaurant will be call La Macchina and will feature grilled flat-bread sandwiches, salads, pasta dishes and grilled calamari, among other items, as well as offering a weekend brunch menu.

It will have tables for about 66 people, with bar seating for another 15. The owners recently opened a coffee roasting business called Coffee Speed Shop at 2000 Greenleaf Ave.

And Coast Suchi Central is seeking a liquor license for its newly opened restaurant at 2545 Prairie Ave. That’s the space most recently occupied by Hota and before that by Jacky’s on Prairie.

Owners Thipa Thumhathai, Nattawut Chaowsaowapa, and Atikan Chailikit also operate two other Coast Sushi locations in Chicago.

Both liquor license requests are up for introduction at tonight’s Evanston City Council meeting, along with a proposal to create a liquor license classification for bring-your-own-bottle service at restaurants.

Until now the city code has been silent on the issue of BYOB service and a number of local establishments have offered it without any regulation.

The new ordinance would require alcohol server training for licensees and impose a $1,500 annual fee.

Action on the issue was requested by Eric Singer, the owner of the new pop-up restaurant site called Company, who told the Liquor Control Board he was otherwise faced with the cost of getting a one-day liquor license for every night the business was in operation.

Top: 1620 Orrington in an image from Google Maps.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. More restaurants?

    While it is lovely to be the "Restaurant Capital of the North Shore", it would be nicer for a family to be able to shop for shoes and clothing for kids in downtown Evanston instead of taking our tax dollars to Old Orchard. Do we need yet another restaurant? Like a hole in the head!! Naturally, it is nice to have those empty storefronts filled.Maybe we should pull a Naperville and add a bit to the bottom line of all those out of town visitors and eaters. Heard on the news today that they wound up with a 2 million dollar surplus just from adding 1% to the dining tabs of guests which they now need to figure out how to spend.. Bet it wouldn't take Evanston more than 5 minutes to figure out how to shake loose of that cash!

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