American comfort food with an upscale twist, accompanied by blues and rock, is the recipe for success being brewed by owner John Tasiopoulos at 27 Live, which held its official ribbon-cutting opening Thursday night in the 1000 block of Church Street.

Sixth Ward Alderman Mark Tendam, Mayor Liz Tisdahl, and Tasiopoulos share ribbon-cutting honors. 

A much more ambitious undertaking than his first restaurant, the Old Neighborhood Grill on Central Street, this two-story, 14,000-square-foot venue occupies the space once held by Carmen’s, the pizza place, just west of the railroad viaducts in downtown Evanston.

With an intimate bar upstairs and a large entertainment room downstairs, the new venue shows promise to be a popular hangout for 21-and-over Northwestern students as well as their classic-rock-oriented elders.

Executive Chef Matthew Moss and Chef d’Cuisine Charles Andersson

27 Live gets its name from the popular music stars who lost their lives in their rock ‘n roll youth, including premature legends Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse. In essence, 27 Live is a living memorial to these musical classics.

Tasiopoulos summarizes the restaurant’s mission on his business cards: “Eat good food. Drink great whiskey. Listen to rock ‘n roll.”

Top: The ground-floor entertainment lounge at 27 Live.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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  1. Interesting!

    A music venue restaurant that opened without Evanston giving a handout?

    To those attempting to get $2 million handout on Davis Street, please see how it's done.

  2. It too bad this place has

    It too bad this place has such an amateur and sophomoric brand identity as this will most certainly influence the draw of talent and patrons. This seems like it's a nice place but you wouldn't know if from their logo or website.

    1. cool

      John, the owner, exudes laid back cool.   Looking at the success of his Old Neighborhood Grill, I trust he knows what he's doing.   Best of luck to him and his partners. I can't wait to get over to this new place. The music line up looks like fun.

      Here is the web page with listings of who is playing: http://27live.com/venue/


  3. Congrats!

    This is a great room– please don't give too much credence to the previous negative posts. What is it about the internet that brings out the negativity? I don't get it.

    As someone who's both watched a show as well as performed on stage at 27 Live, the sound it top notch both for audience and band.

    Come on down and check it out.

  4. Great place – great people

    I have been fortunate to host mutiple events, attend multiple events and recommend others for their events at 27 Live.  The outcomes have always been fantastic.  The staff is wonderful, the food is delicious, the acoustics are great and the atmosphere is awesome.

    John is a top notch proprietor and a straight shooter.  I recommend anyone who enjoys having fun to make a visit.  Spread the word because this is going to be a great venue for Evanston to call their own!!!  (PS, no I don't work there and I have no financial interest in 27 Live with the exception of the dough I have spent there on many occasions) 

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