Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said “it looks good to me” this afternoon as she reviewed plans to open a World of Beer franchise downtown.

Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said “it looks good to me” this afternoon as she reviewed plans to open a World of Beer franchise downtown.

Tisdahl last year rejected a proposal from building owner Ted Mavrakis to open a Tilted Kilt restaurant in the Fountain Square Building at 1601 Sherman Ave. last year because of the skimpy outfits for waitresses that are part of that chain’s concept.

The World of Beer model for the same space might face a different issue. It doesn’t serve food, and Evanston’s liquor ordinance requires food service at all establishments in town that serve booze.

But Tisdahl and members of the Liquor Control Board seemed convinced that the World of Beer approach of letting restaurants elsewhere in town provide delivery service to patrons’ tables at World of Beer would meet the intent of the city’s liquor laws.

World of Beer argues, based on experience in other communities, that the strategy also provides a substantial boost in business for nearby restaurants.

World of Beer, which offers package sales as well as bar seating, has about 20 outlets now, with another 20 under construction, according to a company representative who attended the meeting. The closest franchise now is in Columbus, Ohio. But one has recently reportedly been approved for Naperville.

The liquor control panel also looked favorably on several other proposals this afternoon:

  • It approved plans for a beer and wine license for Todoroki Sushi and Grill, newly opened at 524-526 Davis St. Owner Wendy Cheng said she plans to offer mostly Asian beers and develop wine pairings for its food dishes in cooperation with the Vinic wine shop around the corner from the restaurant on Chicago Avenue.
  • It approved plans for a beer and wine license for a proposed new restaurant, Creperie Saint Germain, at 1512 Sherman Ave.
  • It supported a request from Paul Hletko, owner of the Few Spirits distillery, to increase the cap on his production from 5,000 proof gallons a year to 15,000 — as now permitted under a revised state law. Hletko said his business is going far better than he’d expected and that at current rates he could exhaust his production limit by April or May.

All those plans are expected to go before the City Council for final approval next month.

The panel also indicated support for preliminary plans from Josh Gilbert to open a craft brewery in Evanston. That will require addition of a new section to the city’s liquor code.

Top: An image from the World of Beer website.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Gigio’s and a cold beer.

    I hope this goes through,on my first visit I will order a Gigio's pizza and a cold Stella beer.

    1. With 500 beers on tap…

      … I'd hope you'd order something other than a Stella. Heck, you can get that now at the Celtic Knot.

  2. 500 beers plus music would be awesome!!

    This place looks amazing! 500 beers on tap from 40 countries, plus music!   I see no reason to turn this down at all, so hopefully TIsdahl will do what's right- Even if it means "too much traffic" or "increased crime" like she suggested would happen with the TIlted Kilt.  


    Didn't council just discuss last week that you can't sell indvidual beer under 40 oz to go? I wonder if this will affect the World of Beers ability to package mixed cases of beer (this is mentioned on their website)?  Will they make exceptions for this as well as the food requirement?   I hope so!


    If this place goes in, perhaps me and all the other pro-Kilt people might admit that it was for the best to deny that license… As it looks like something better just came to town.



  3. Let’s hope they show soccer

    The pictures of the place look interesting–albeit the fact that all existing locations are in Florida and it has a bit of a homogenous corporate vibe makes it a little less appealing than, say, the Hopleaf.

    It is sort of a chain version of Prairie Moon.

    I am not anti-chain.  If it is run well and the owners try to appeal to the particularities of the Evanston market, great.

    Certainly it will be better than the Tilted Kilt.  

    And if they consciously make it a soccer bar, I'll be there all the time.

  4. Craft brewery

    I'm more interested by the idea of a craft brewery. Does Evanston have one? It would be great if it did.

  5. Beers on tap…

    Not actually on tap, but available in bottles.  If you know the logistics of keeping beer lines clean (a project that should be done everytime a keg is changed to a different beer) this would be a nightmare.  Hope that this doesn't ruin the chances of a Brewpub in the city.  My understanding is that the craft brewery will be just that, brewery only.  If they offer sample pours, do they need to have food brought in too?

  6. Another franchise?

    Why is Ted Mavrakis so hell bent on bringing a bar franchise into Evanston?  The Tilted Kilt doesn't work out so he goes and sources another franchise?  

    Keep Evanston unique and come up with your own ideas, Ted.

    1. Mavrakis is a landlord, that’s why

      "Why is Ted Mavrakis so hell bent on bringing a bar franchise into Evanston?  The Tilted Kilt doesn't work out so he goes and sources another franchise?"

      Mavrakis is interested in filling his empty storefront with a viable business.

      Anyway, if this 'World of Beer' idea is successful in other places, there is a good chance that it will work in Evanston, too. 

      I am delighted that Pret-a-Manger, a chain restaurant , opened on Sherman.  Enquiring minds want more quality stores and restaurants like Pret or IHOP or Whole Foods , whether they are chains or not.

  7. World of Blah

    Support local establishments! Another bar downtown would be nice, but I’ll put my beer money toward the local and unique bars downtown- Celtic Knot, Prairie Moon, The Cellar, etc. Boycott the Blah World.

    I’m looking forward to tasting the Evanston craft brew! Did somebody say mobile food truck serving Evanston craft beer?

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