The City of Evanston has lined up a potential tenant for the restaurant kitchen at the new Gibbs-Morrison Cultural Center at 1823 Church St. — just ahead of Saturday’s scheduled dedication of the building that formerly housed the privately-owned Boocoo Cultural Center.

The City Council is scheduled to vote Monday on a plan to lease the restaurant kitchen and storage area to First Slice Pie Cafe, which has three locations on Chicago’s north side.

The small chain, owned by Mary Ellen Diaz, combines offering soups, salads and other lunch offerings at its cafes with selling whole pies to go.

It also offers a subscription program that provides ready-to-heat-at-home prepared meals and includes a donation component that provides meals to the needy.

The kitchen and storage space at the cultural center totals 383 square feet. At a rental rate of $25 per square foot, the total annual rent to the city under the lease would be $9,575.

First Slice would also have non-exclusive access to common areas in the center including the indoor cafe seating area and outdoor patio.

The cafe is expected to have about eight employees, with at least two of them to be Evanston residents.

Saturday’s dedication ceremony is scheduled for 1 p.m. Scheduled speakers include Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and aldermen Peter Braithwaite and Delores Holmes.

The event will feature music and free refreshments and free parking will be available in the lot across the street.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Good Luck!
    Good luck to them. I really hope they do well and that the HS kids will use this as a nice place to gather with friends.

  2. Pies and no recreational planning ( pie in the sky)

    The city has no plan for recreation here that is becoming quite clear, opennig up a recreational center with no programing, but a pie shop is interesting.  First slice is in andersville, it sells quality pies and has a light menu for lunch.  Nothing is wrong with the business, but what is the purpose of having this business in a So called City Recreation Center?  Also it is again clear, taxpayers are subsidizing this mess.  We are hearing the geothermo system on the building has a major problem and this may be why the building is closing.  Did Wally take this into account when he spend our money on this building?  How much more will be spending and where is it coming from?  I would like to see a total accounting of the finanical mess here.

    What about the recording studio wheres that? No takers?  Anyone want to explain to us the recreational value of this facility to the community?

    So now we have a PIE shop, on Howard Street Wally wanted a coffee shop that deal fell through and we now are renting out a new police outpost all at taxpayer expense!

    $1/2 million for a consult to raise funds for Robert Crown, with the growing mess in the Recreation Department, Do they think taxpayers are going to give them donations, when they can't use our current Recreational tax dollars wisely?  More PIE in the SKY!

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