Trader Joe’s has announced plans to open a store in Evanston at the site of the former Blockbuster Video store at 1211 Chicago Ave.

“The development of this site into a new Trader Joe’s is yet another sign that Evanston’s economic health is definitely on the upswing,” said Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl.

“Trader Joe’s will be a good asset to the economy not only for the added commerce it will generate but also for the jobs it will create and the visitors it will attract to our community that is already known for its excellent restaurants, shops and entertainment venues,” the mayor added.

Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, said she’s “looking forward to working with Terraco, the property developer, to make this a flagship development for Trader Joe’s and our neighborhood.”

“Chicago Avenue is a key corridor for the Third Ward and Evanston and the arrival of Trader Joe’s will mark an important step in the continuing improvement of Chicago Avenue.”

Officials say the city’s economic development staff has been working closely with the Wilmette-based Terraco to bring Trader Joe’s to Evanston and will continue to work to facilitate the planning, zoning and permitting process.

Officials have long sought to bring the specialty grocery chain to Evanston, notably with attempts a few years ago to persuade it to locate in the former Osco Drug Store at Oakton Street and Asbury Avenue and to include it in a planned mixed use development at Maple Avenue and Emerson Street.

The former Osco site remains vacant and the 1890 Maple project has never broken ground.

The chain’s closest current locations to Evanston are on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago and on Waukegan Road in Glenview.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Glee

    Evanston will now explode with glee. We can all die happy. 🙂

    I've never actually been to one. So, someone enlighten me. What's so great about Trader Joe's?

    1. Four dollar bottles of good

      Four dollar bottles of good wine, and an excellent selection of chocolate, to start. 😉

      The only trouble now will be the ever increasingly terrible traffic on that corridor…

      1. What-t-t?

        Have you been drinking too much of that $ 4 wine. What was it Boone's Farm or Ripple. I kind of lean to Boone's Farm. Chicago Ave. is like a smooth running highway when you compare it to the traffic backup problems on Oakton, Main, and Asbury.

      2. WIne taxes

        Too bad that "two-buck chuck" will be subject to a combined sales tax rate of almost 16%.  Trader Joe's does have a pretty good selection of wine but I will continue to make 100% of my wine and alcohol purchases outside of Evanston's city limits to escape the exorbitant alcohol tax rate. 

    2. Trader Joe

      I don't understand the fascination with Trader Joe's, either.  Someone once described it as 'Whole Foods for the microwave crowd'..lots of pre-packaged stuff.  Maybe this 'competition' will force Whole Foods to modernize one of its two Evanston locations…which are both pretty shameful compared to Willow Rd, Deerfield, Kingsbury, or Roosevelt. 

      I wonder if any dummies are going to complain about the traffic that Trader Joe's will bring, or how this out of town chain store detracts from Evanston's unique historic charm.

    3. If you’re familiar with Whole Foods

      If you're familiar with Whole Foods (which will literally be right down the street), then you're famliar with Trader Joe's.  Both have natural, organic, healthy – type food.  BUT…probably the big difference are the prices, Trader Joe's tends to have much lower prices than Whole Foods.

  2. Yay! My wish has been granted!

    Trader Joes is the best!  Great prices on yummy food and interesting choices.  Great wine selection, produce that doesn't break the bank, delicious prepared foods.

    I would do most of my shopping there if there was a closer one, now there will be!!! 

  3. Trader Joe’s location

    While I am very glad to hear that Trader Joe's will locate a new store in Evanston… That part of Chicago Ave is getting very crowded and I'd imagine shoppers would be happy to go the extra mile to shop outside of the congestion.  It's too bad they were not interested in acquiring the still shuttered Osco site @ Oakton & Asbury. 

    IMHO, that is nice building which is roughly the same size of all the other Trader Joe's I have visited and would have sparked some nice development along that strip of Asbury, that just might even get a Yellow line CTA station someday…

    Respectfully submitted, Brian G. Becharas

  4. TJ’s at last!

    Prayers, whines, grumbles and cajoles have been answered at last—a Trader Joe's in Evanston! This will keep our tax dollars at home rather than traipsing over to Glenview or Northbrook. Great, healthy  food options at a lower price than  the evil Whole Foods. We have never forgiven them for forcing out the Oak Street Market and Fresh Fields so have shopped elsewhere.TJ's has some specialty foods, good basics and decent quality for the price, plus Trader Joe's staff is the most accommodating ever! Welcome to Evanston, Trader Joe's! What took you so long!?

  5. Good news – why we might be concerned

    It great news to see new business coming to town.  But if our council members think the money is now going to start to flow back, they will start to waste even more of our tax dollars.

    We are over 500 million in debt, and just saw basically a 8% increase in taxes – with all the added fees.  Council member no doubt will soon start to think they can increase taxes even more, since some new businesses are coming to town.

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