On Nov. 15, Third Ward Alderman Melissa Wynne hosted a community meeting at Lincoln Elementary School’s Multi-Purpose Room to discuss the possibility of a Binny’s Beverage Depot moving to 1111 Chicago Ave. On the corner of Chicago Ave. and Greenleaf St., the site formerly housed a South Evanston Whole Foods Market; the 20-year property lease ended this past March.
In January, Ald. Wynne said Whole Foods analyzed the cost of upgrading or replacing the store but “determined costs would be prohibitive.” Two other Whole Foods Markets are still located in Evanston, one in downtown on Chicago Avenue and the other on the City’s north side on Green Bay Road.
Binny’s Beverage Depot is a family-owned liquor store chain that originated in Chicago’s north side in 1948. Since its founding, the company has grown to have more than 35 stores in the Chicago area, including suburban locations in Des Plaines, Glencoe, Highland Park, Niles, Skokie, Wheeling, and more. The original Binny’s is located at 3000 N Clark St. in Chicago near Wrigley Field, but the size of the current depots are “at least five times as large, with square footages measured in thousands rather than hundreds,” said CEO Michael Binstein in a Retail Merchandiser article from 2012. Binny’s interest is in utilizing the vacant site as a large-format liquor superstore. This would be the first Binny’s Beverage Depot to be located in Evanston. The closest Binny’s is located at 5100 Dempster St. in Skokie.
The addition of a large-scale liquor store in south Evanston is still up in the air. The City of Evanston and Binny’s have not yet reached an agreement.