Food beat: Coffee competition

The boards went up covering the facade of old Radio Shack store in downtown Evanston this week as Milwaukee-based Colectivo Coffee got its remodeling work underway.

Colectivo's Scott Schwebel told city officials last fall that the company plans to replace all the old storefront windows at 716 Church St. with new, more energy-efficient ones.

The company, which has 15 shops in the Milwaukee area, three in Madison, Wisconsin, and two on Chicago's north side, serves coffee, tea and espresso drinks along with smoothies and beer.

The shop will also feature baked goods and sandwiches and is expected to operate from 6 a.m. to as late as 11 p.m.

In approving the plans last December, members of the city's Zoning Board of Appeals said they're convinced there's lots of demand for another coffee shop in town, given how busy the existing ones are.

Meanwhile, Adam Paronto is scheduled to seek approval from the ZBA tonight for his plans to open yet another coffee shop, Reprise Coffee Roasters, at 710 Main St.


The floor plan for Reprise.

The site is a now-vacant storefront just west of Trattoria D.O.C.

Paronto plans to open about 6 a.m. and close by 7 p.m. each day and says he'll be buying his coffee from Gold Mountain Coffee Growers, a direct trade coffee wholesaler in Nicaragua.

And, in another nibble on the food beat, the city received a food establishment license application last week to re-open the property at 817 University Place that formerly was the Las Palmas Mexican restaurant. Plans call for sticking with a Mexican cuisine theme but under a new, yet-to-be-determined name.

Related story

Coffee shop to replace Radio Shack downtown (12/2/17)

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Comments

Coffee Options

Even for a college town, this seems like near market saturation. Will be interesting to see if all can weather the storm, especially downtown.

As a side note, perhaps this will be the catalyst that convinces Unicorn Cafe to finally start accepting credit cards. There's nothing worse than wanting to support them, realizing I have no cash, and having to head to the sterile, coldĀ Starbucks across the street instead. As a small business owner myself, I know credit card fees are no fun - but just raise your prices a few percentage points to compensate. Nobody is going to notice an additional $0.10 on the price of their $4.00 latte.

Coffee

There does seem to be a revolving door for businesses in Evanston especially downtown. That said, the Main district has Starbucks, Brothers, Dollops and now one more. But most, including this new one, roll up shop by 7ish. Maybe what's needed is a Dublin Donuts 24hrs. That would probably wipe out a few of these.