London-based restaurant chain Pret A Manger won backing from an Evanston city staff committee this afternoon for plans to open downtown.

London-based restaurant chain Pret A Manger won backing from an Evanston city staff committee this afternoon for plans to open downtown.

The chain, which offers high-end sandwiches, plans to take over the space at 1701 Sherman Ave. now occupied by the Clearwire Communications retail store.

Richard Perrin, a representative of the chain, told the Site Plan and Appearance Review Committee that “Pret A Manger is well established in New York, has three restaurants in Washington, and three in Chicago.”

Most of its restaurants are in the United Kingdom, where the privately-held company was founded in 1986. It has a total of 250 outlets.

Because the restaurant is primarily a carryout business, or a “Type 2” restaurant in Evanston zoning terms, it will require a special use permit from the City Council to open.

Perrin said one distinctive feature about the chain is that all food left over at the end of the day is donated to local charities and homeless shelters.

“In our three locations in Chicago a van comes around at the end of the day and picks up our food to distribute it to the homeless. We plan to do the same in Evanston.” Perrin said.

The planned business hours for the restaurant are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.

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  1. Woo-hoo!

    That's great news. I (a non-shill, certified 24 year resident of our fair city) really love Pret. I wish them success.

  2. Yahoo!

    I hope they have the same assortment of sandwiches they have in the UK.  Fantastic news that Evanston needs more of.

  3. Another Pret-lover here. This

    Another Pret-lover here. This is excellent news.

    Better than the fact that it's Pret is that when Clear goes belly up that corner won't be a ghost-town again.

    You know, the name of this business contains a slang word for womanparts. Don't tell the mayor!!

  4. Ready To Eat!

    Very exciting. Their sandwiches are a bit pricey, but very tasty with a good variety. Good news.

    I suppose it was just a matter of time for Clearwire to leave …

  5. great sandwiches

    Loved Pret in the UK and have tried them in other cities in the US.  The selection is best in the UK where you get the great range of veggies and interesting combos.  Much better than the boring sandwiches available at so many US chains.  Great addition to Evanston!

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