Aldermen Monday debated whether Evanston would be well served or disserved by a pizza delivery joint that stayed open until 3 a.m.

Store owner Ivan Marinov said his existing Sarpino’s Pizzeria franchise in Hoffman Estates has the same 10 a.m. until 3 a.m. business hours he’s requesting for his new shop at 2428 Main St.

But Alderman Lionel Jean-Baptiste, whose 2nd Ward includes the site, said he’d be happier if the store closed at 11 p.m., the same time the Starbucks in the same strip mall closes.

“I’d hate to have some radical change going on so that we have people hanging out in the parking lot late at night and have to have the police come and end up creating a mess,” Ald. Jean-Baptiste said.

But Mr. Marinov said that’s not likely to be a problem — the store will have no seating area and will offer only carry out and delivery service. He said that at his existing store 95 percent of late-night customers use his free delivery service.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, suggested barring carry outs and permitting only delivery service after midnight. “That would keep people from hanging out,” she said.

Alderman Anjana Hansen, 9th Ward, said she feared that people would congregate in the parking lot late at night.
“I want someone to fill those stores, they’ve been vacant too long,” she said, “but I think we’re going to have problems with 3 a.m.”

Community Development Director James Wolinski suggested that the aldermen could require that the shop turn off its signage when it ends carry-out service.

Alderman Steve Bernstein, 4th Ward, said, “I don’t have any real problem with the closing time,” but he suggested that if the landlord was persuaded to post signs closing the parking lot at midnight, then police would be able to keep the parking lot cleared.

Alderman Edmund Moran, 6th Ward, said, “I don’t see this as a magnet for anti-social activity. If people were congregating there at two in the morning, then we’d have problems, but it it’s only drivers hauling pizzas out the front door, I don’t see what the hazard is.”

But Alderman Cheryl Wollin, 1st Ward, said a 3 a.m. closing “seems extreme to me,” and Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, said the late hours would be “setting up a problem.”

The aldermen voted to introduce the special use permit for the restaurant but refer the issue back to committee for further discussion at their next meeting.

Most pizza delivery businesses in town close earlier than 3 a.m., but the Dominos at 1168 Dodge Ave. lists a 3 a.m. closing time on weekends.

Other restaurants

The aldermen approved two other restaurant requests at the Main Street Marketplace shopping center:

  • The Wingstop restaurant proposed for 2434 Main St. by franchisee Julius Soro of Hoffman Estates, will have tables for 48 diners and plans to operate from 11 a.m. to midnight.
  • The Nine Fish Restaurant, already operating at 2426 Main St., won approval for a license to sell beer and wine.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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.