Sunny Spa to fill the former Egea site downtown.

It’s always a sunny day when a new business comes to town, even if the weather is gloomy.

Sunny Spa is taking over the former Egea site at Sherman and Grove. The shop has been vacant for about a year, after its second incarnation under the “Egea” name closed its doors last fall.

Sunny Spa is now in Skokie, but manager Sophia Wu says the Skokie landlord has other plans. So, Sunny will close in Skokie and move its facials, massages and manicures to Evanston.

Egea was a long-standing downtown business under its original owners, but closed abruptly in December 2021, posting a “thank you for 19 years” sign on the door.

Egea farewell sign, December 2021.

Co-owner Kathy Pappas said “closing the spa was one of the most difficult decisions we have ever had to make,” and blamed the COVID-related business slowdown and inability to find enough trained staff.

That shutdown angered a lot of customers, who were left with gift cards they were unable to use.

Michael Duncan, a veteran of the spa business, then rented the site, kept the Egea name, and said he would accept the outstanding gift cards and certificates.

However, by October, 2022, Duncan said honoring $350,000 worth of cards, finding employees at a difficult time, and his own personal health problems added up to the business not adding up financially, so Egea closed again.

Wu says Sunny Spa will remain in Skokie until December, although the Evanston location will open later this month.

As of now, she anticipates having four employees, but says if business is good enough, that number could increase.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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