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Representatives from Whole Foods told residents at a ward meeting Thursday night that their new Green Bay Road store in Evanston will include a wine bar in the back and a separate pub up front serving beer.

It’s part of a national trend toward supermarkets offering in-store dining options as they increasingly compete with restaurants for the consumer’s food dollar.

And the new location on Green Bay Road, in a former Dominick’s market, will offer more space for the expanded offerings, said Keith Stewart, an Evanston resident and marketing executive with the chain.

Keith Stewart of Whole Foods.

The new location has more than 40,000 square feet of space, compared to around 30,000 square feet at the Whole Foods at 1640 Chicago Ave. and about 25,000 square feet at the 1111 Chicago Ave. location.

Last August Whole Foods representatives had pitched a “sip and shop” concept to Evanston’s Liquor Control Board that would let shoppers drink as they cruised the aisles with their shopping carts.

While some board members said they had no objection to that idea, Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, who as the city’s liquor commissioner makes liquor license recommendations to the full City Council, said she believed alcohol service should be limited to certain areas and that “sip and shop” would not be in line “with the values of Evanston residents.”

Part of the large crowd that turned out for the ward meeting.

There was no mention of “sip and shop” in Thursday night’s presentation at the joint 6th and 7th Ward meeting held at Three Crowns Park.

The new store is expected to have between 150 and 200 employees with about 60 percent of those jobs full-time. In response to a question, Stewart said the average wage for the company’s employees in the Chicago area is $18.35.

Stewart said the design of the new story would strive to achieve a “homelike, welcoming atmosphere” and displayed renderings of design concepts for various sections of the market.

The new store is scheduled to open by the end of July.

Stewart said that after it acquired the shuttered Dominick’s market here, along with several others in the region, the company considered closing one of its older Evanston stores, but that it has decided that both existing stores will remain open — that there’s enough demand here to support all three.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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5 Comments

  1. Whole Foods and Taxes

    I guess Whole Foods existence is a strong argument for people having too much money and for higher progressive taxes.  As the old saying might be modified, "Whole Foods is God's way of telling you you make too much money." 

  2. Sip and Shop

    So the prudish mayor of Evanston once again imposes her moral values on a city of, what, 75+ thousand. It's the "Tilted Kilt" affair all over again!!!

    1. Unequal Treatment
      So the city can support wine bars and brewerys, build a patio for a bar etc but Whole Foods having a “sip and shop” is beyond the mayor’s moral tolerance ?
      I’m sure she has no idea how she makes any decision—maybe a Weegie Board, Magic 8 Ball ?

  3. Love it

    I love the idea of bringing this to Evanston. I encourage reside ts to show up to the any upcoming city council meeting and voice their support for the sip and shop.

    1. Sip and Shop!
      Grab a beer up front and pour it into your own paper cup. Proceed to shop. Maybe try an empty Starbucks cup or sport bottle for camouflage. Anyone who really wants to sip and shop will find a way to do so. Frankly, you could be doing this at Jewel or the other Whole Foods now if you felt compelled. I tend to shop early in the morning, so the whole idea seems a little odd to me, but you never know! I could be converted to evening shopping with a pinot noir.

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