The British sandwich shop chain with the faux French name, Pret a Manger, has bid adieu to Evanston.

Brown paper covered the shop windows at 1701 Sherman Ave. this afternoon and a sign in the window said, “We’re sorry to be leaving.”

The closure came barely more than three years after the outlet opened to some fanfare.

With the Pret signage removed, the storefront showed evidence of its former uses as a Clear wireless outlet and a Barnes & Noble store.

Long-time Evanston residents will remember that the building was constructed in 1951 as the local outlet for the Lyttons department store chain.

Pret a Manger’s website indicated the company still has eight Chicago-area shops, all in the Loop.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Evanston business climate.
    City regulations might not have been one of their problems but I had to think of it.
    Friday Burger-King had to remove their food specials signs from their windows because someone complained they could not see out the windows and the city inspector made them remove them—B-K did not say iif a fine or warning. Before Einstein Bagels was where they are, the store sold chicken. Inspectors warned/fined them for having “too many” food symbols on their outside sign. This was same period where alll businesses had to have a ‘sign inspection’ [for a fee of course] by the city.
    And we wonder why we have such a business problem in Evanston !

    1. Maybe it was the unimaginative food…

      Eh. I just wasn't a fan of their food. There's much better food in the area – Delbe's. Mumbai Indian Grill. Olive Mountain, Bat 17, Edzo's, Joy Yee's. So many many others. And if I want to go to a chain, there's Five Guys, Chipotle, Panera, Potbelly's, Einstein's.

      By comparison, Pret was rather bland and … lacking in deliciousness. I think they couldn't compete.

      1. Fortunately, we still have Lyfe

        Pret offered unique, healthy and affordable alternatives to just about every fast and "fast casual" restaurant in downtown Evanston. Fortunately, by way of comparison, we still have Lyfe Kitchen.  

        Unfortunately for the intersection of Church and Sherman, another business, Radio Shack, will soon be closing shop; and who knows how long Barnes & Noble will be able to keep the lights on.


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