Early signs of economic recovery from the pandemic provided a common theme for many of the stories that proved most popular among Evanston Now readers in May. But crime didn’t take a holiday.

Here’s a rundown of the top 10:

  1. A bakery, a coffee shop and a plant shop opening soon here — May 22 — The pandemic hasn’t killed interest in retail in Evanston, after all.
  2. Church Street Plaza listed for sale — May 14 — Quick exit sought by current owners.
  3. Two prominent downtown restaurants reopen — May 27 — Owners are hoping the diners will return as pandemic restrictions are eased.
  4. Armed robber points gun, takes cell phone — May 7 — Also, five Toyotas lost their catalytic converters.
  5. Evanston plaza sells for nearly 2.5 times last sale price — May 14 — The Evanston Plaza shopping center has been sold for a reported $39 million to A2Z Real Estate Inc. based in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
  6. Car stolen while being refueled — May 15 — Vehicle was recovered a short time later when it was involved in an accident, but the subject fled the scene.
  7. Man charged with sexual assault attempt — May 19 — Victim, an NU student, was attacked about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday at Clark and Orrington downtown.
  8. Restaurant space to shift from veggies to sweets — May 28 — From salads to sugar in a test of city’s new fast approval process for special uses.
  9. Hilton Orrington reopening planned next month — May 18 — Wednesday, June 9, will be reopening day, convention bureau head says.
  10. Staff: Free beach tokens would blow $1.2M hole in budget — May 21 — But alderman says it’s racist to charge for beach access.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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