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Recession claims some downtown businesses

Downtown Evanston today has about three percent fewer retail businesses than it had a year ago.

That’s the bottom line from a report presented to the city’s Economic Development Committee Wednesday night.

Downtown Evanston today has about three percent fewer retail businesses than it had a year ago.

That’s the bottom line from a report presented to the city’s Economic Development Committee Wednesday night.

Carolyn Dellutri, the executive director EvMark, the tax-funded, non-profit downtown marketing and management organization, said 20 businesses — of about 300 retailers in the district — have closed since last June, while nine new ones have opened.

In addition, two other businesses have relocated to new quarters and five more are scheduled to open downtown soon.

Jonathan Perman, executive director of the Evanston Chamber of Commerce, said the recession has been especially hard on businesses in the hospitality industry.

People are doing much less travel for both leisure and business, he said, and "higher end restaurants have clearly suffered the most as people move down-scale in what they’re willing to spend to eat out." But, Perman said, it’s not a problem unique to Evanston; the hospitality industry is suffering worldwide.

What’s opened

EvMark lists the following downtown retail businesses opening within the past year:

  • American Defensive Driving School, 1640 Orrington Ave., opened in May.
  • Thriftgeek, 522 Davis St., 522 Davis St., opened in May.
  • Evanston Wellness, 708 Church St., opened in April.
  • Akemi Fitness Method, 518 1/2 Davis St., opened in April.
  • Blossoming Life Studio, 1109 Davis St., opened in March.
  • Sixth Sense Spa, 900 Grove St., opened in December.
  • Jamaica Jamaica, 1512 Sherman Ave., a restaurant, opened in October.
  • Underground Printing, 818 Clark St., opened in September.
  • Luluemon Athletica, 1622 Sherman Ave., opened in September.

The two relocated businesses are Uncle Dan’s, the outdoor gear store that moved from 708 Church St. to 901 Church St. last August, and Sherman Dental, which recently moved from 1800 Sherman Ave. to 909 Davis St. Businesses scheduled to open soon include Enigma Cafe at 1620 Orrington Ave., Solutions Through Prayer at 1619 Sherman Ave., Orthodontics by the Lake at 1572 Maple Ave., Bein Assorti Nail Salon at 612 Davis St. and Vinic Wine Company at 1509 Chicago Ave.

What’s closed

Evmark lists the following businesses closing within the past year:

  • Omni Hair and Nail Salon, 1729 Sherman Ave., closed this month.
  • Dunkin Donuts, 1728 Sherman Ave., closed in May.
  • Adler Passport Photo, 1108 Davis St., closed in May.
  • Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge, 527 Davis St., closed in May.
  • Beauty Mark, 1015 Davis St., closed in May.
  • Papyrus, 1619 Sherman Ave., closed in April.
  • Cafe Ambrosia, 1620 Orrington Ave., closed in March.
  • The Architect’s Wife, 626 Davis St., closed in March.
  • Big Ka Hoo Na Hawaiian BBQ, 822 Clark St., closed in March.
  • Dr. Wax, 1615 Sherman Ave., closed in January.
  • Cassona Home Furnishings, 1509 Chicago Ave., closed in January.
  • Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa, 1604 Sherman Ave., closed in October.
  • The Italian Coffee Bar, 940 Church St., closed in October.
  • Pier 1 Imports, 1612 Sherman Ave., closed in October.
  • PR Store, 602 Davis St., closed in September.
  • Phoenix Inn, 608 Davis St., closed in September as the result of a fire.
  • La Petit Amelia Bistro & Wine Bar, 618 Church St., closed in August.
  • Omaggio, 1639 Orrington Ave., a restaurant, closed in August.
  • Kiss My K9, 1640 Orrington Ave., closed retail store but continues as a home-based business.
  • Printable Promotions, 1007 Church St., moved to downtown Chicago in mid-2008.

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