It was a place in downtown Evanston where you could get rye toast, wheat toast, and even French toast. But now the Golden Olympic is toast itself.

The diner-style eatery on Chicago Avenue, whose website said had been “serving downtown Evanston since the 1960s,” recently closed for good. The furnishings have been removed, and there is no word on what, if anything may go there next.

It is also unknown whether the Golden Olympic was yet another restaurant casualty of the coronavirus pandemic, or if it closed for other reasons.

Clarke’s Off Campus, at 804 Davis St.
Clarke’s Off Campus, at 804 Davis St.

On the positive side, a couple blocks away on Davis Street, Clarke’s Off Campus reopened this week after closing twice due to statewide COVID-19 regulations.

Owner Yolanda Ewing Tsatas says Clarke’s closed in March 2020 as part of the statewide shutdown, then reopened in June with outdoor patio dining and delivery only. Still, Tsatas says Clarke’s was not profitable. “PPP (the federal Payroll Protection Plan) saved us,” she adds.

Tsatas says Clarke’s closed again in November as new regulations were implemented, and did not reopen until Wednesday. Indoor dining is now allowed, although with some state-imposed limits.

Clarke’s has been in Evanston since 1985. One big difference now, Tstatas has added a bar. Liquor revenue is a big help she says. “I know we’re going to survive,” she adds.

So at Clarke’s, it’s now possible both to have some toast and propose one.

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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