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Curt’s Cafe, a program that offers job skills training to young men on Central Street in Evanston, hopes to open a new branch to provide similar services to teen mothers in what’s now the Perla Cafe on Dempster Street.

Nancy Floy, who owns the Heartwood Center across the street, says she and other supporters of the project have launched a Kickstarter campaign and other efforts to fund the project.

Susan Trieschmann, who launched the non-profit Curt’s Cafe program, has estimated they’ll need about $40,000 to buy Perla Cafe’s equipment, $10,000 for rehab work on the space and another $100,000 to keep the cafe running during its first few months of operation.

There are already 25 girls on a waiting list who could be helped by the new project, Floy says.

The Dempster-Dodge intersection is seeing a lot of improvements, Floy adds, with a new Starbucks under construction, a newly updated Burger King and the decision by Valli Produce to take over the former Dominick’s supermarket space.

And the Evanston West Village Business Association she heads has received funds from the city for new planters along the street.

In addition, the Tsogyaling Meditation Center of Evanston, now based at Heartwood, is planning to buy the house next door, and Floy is acquiring the disused parking lot just east of the house.

With all the action on the block, Floy says Curt’s Cafe would be a great addition to the neighborhood.

Floy and project organizer Kristen Hemingway say the new cafe would feature nourishing food, coffee and smoothies in a part of town that does not have many healthy food options.

And the mission will be to provide training and job placement assistance to young mothers to enable them to successfully contribute to their family and the community by joining the work force.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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5 Comments

  1. Hope they don’t go begging

    Hope they don't go begging from the city. They should go for private help with the cash problem.

    Other than that, I wish them go luck with their experiment.

    1. Begging

      > They should go for private help with the cash problem.

      You must have missed the "launched a Kickstarter campaign" part of the story.

  2. Curt’s Cafe

    @skipw: If you did not have a problem with Autobarn, Ward 8, Peckish Inn, Chicken & Waffles and many others begging for financial assistance from the city, then you should not have a problems with Curt's Cafe doing the same. Particular, if the cafe has achieved its objectives.

    1. City funding

      While Curt's Cafe on Central Street, after some controversy, did receive financial support from the city for its job training program, a member of the city's economic development staff said Wednesday that no request for funding has been submitted, at least so far, for the project on Dempster Street.

      — Bill

    2. I did have a problem with

      I did have a problem with those handouts and do not have problem with Curt's Cafe expanding into a new nonprofit.

      I wonder how much money the city has recovered from TJ's 2 million dollar parking lot. I'm sure they would be crowing about it if it met expectations.

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