Dozens of residents of Evanston’s west side turned out at the corner of Church Street and Dodge Avenue Tuesday evening to celebrate National Night Out.

At the grill

ECDC member and development consultant Bill Smith watches over the hot dogs.  

The event, designed to encourage community residents to participate in crime-prevention programs, also provided the sponsoring Evanston Community Development Corporation a chance to promote its efforts to encourage affordable housing and workforce, business and economic development.

Early arrivals wait for dinner to be served. 

The location of Tuesday’s event was one sign of progress in the neighborhood. Last year the gathering was held on a vacant lot on the northeast corner of the intersection that developer Daniel Cheifetz had hopes of turning into a community cultural center.

The new remodeled and expanded Boocoo building. 

This year the new cultural center and cafe, called Boocoo, is open for business, so the National Night Out gathering moved across the street to a parking lot used by Evanston Township High School staff.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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