Evanston aldermen gave final approval Monday night to plans to financially support a proposed new bar and restaurant at 623 Howard St.

The city, which bought the building in 2011 for $475,000, will spend up to $200,000 to partially fund rehab work on the space.

It has also agreed to let the bar operators purchase the building four years from now for no more than $675,000 and use all the rent they will pay the city in the meantime toward the purchase price.

Aldermen approved the lease agreement 8-0, although Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, opposed the $200,000 rehab payment. Alderman Coleen Burrus, 9th Ward, was absent from the meeting.

The bar, previously referred to as Peckish One, won’t actually be called that when it opens, Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, said as the meeting ended.

Rainey, whose ward includes the bar site, said that while Peckish One is the name of the company owners Debbie and Jamie Evans have formed to own the bar, they’re keeping the actual name of the bar secret for now.

Until earlier this year the couple owned the Celtic Knot restaurant in downtown Evanston.

The city-subsidized Ward Eight bar opened last fall next door at 629 Howard.

Some observers have claimed that the projected total $500,000 rehab expense for the roughly 4,700 square foot building and the 2,000 square foot garage space behind it that’s to be converted to a brewery is underestimated.

But Wilson said that under terms of the deal, the business owners, and not the city, will be responsible for any cost overruns.

Related stories

Thumbs up to pub, thumbs down to salons (Feb. 26, 2013)

City aid sought for brew pub on Howard (Feb. 21, 2013)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Another poorly done piece of work by city staff

    Anyone can go and look at the finanical proposal for the Peckish one attached to the city staff's memo, it is all posted on the city's web site.

    The numbers do not add up- at best it is short $200,000  this is what the numbers tell you by just adding them up and most likely if you look carefully and compare the drawing to the construction estimate it is short $500,000.

    While all this Is OK, since if you read the city legal documents they are stating "buyer beware" that is the owners of peckish one must come up with any short fall. 

    What is interesting here staff also is stating they can't be sue for the problems in the legal documents. 

    What any person of reasonable intelligent and ethical standing might ask is why would the city create such a screw up deal? and enter into the contract?

    Council members were made aware of this at several meeting but have chosen to pretend it does not exist.

    Wally in his mind thinks the creation of bad deals is fine, since he is creating economic developement?

    Lets see what happens six months to a year down the road, will we have another LIt Theater on our hands?

  2. New bar names

    Well of course they gave approval. Did we expect any less from them in these financially robust times?  How about allowing us, the taxpayers, select a name for the bar we financed? It would only be fair and I’m sure there would be some interesting suggestions. I would like to submit my ideas and begin the process.

    1.) Your Place
    2.) The Tax and Spend Tavern
    3.) Alderman’s Ale House
    4.) Saloon not Salon
    5.) Ann’s 2nd in the 8th

    1. Great Names

      Love this.

       If we can find a way to eliminate crime and get rich by beer drinking, I'm in!

      As the saying goes, If you can't beat them, drink (or something like that)


    2. Ann’s Inn-Taxpayers Out

      How's this for a new name?

      Should we do a poll ?

      Other names ?


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