Little Beans, a popular family café and indoor playground located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, is looking to open a new location in Evanston.
The café has filed paperwork with the City of Evanston’s Planning and Zoning Division to complete a special use process with the City’s Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning & Development Committee to occupy space at 430 Asbury Ave. Little Beans is currently working with the property owner to negotiate a lease to locate at the space, formerly an Osco-Drug pharmacy.
The lease is a two-step process because the property is currently leased by CVS pharmacy; Little Beans must come to an agreement with both the property owner and CVS in order to sub-lease the space. In 2006, CVS entered the market through the mass acquisition of former stand-alone Osco-Drug pharmacy stores.
“Evanston families are excited about the prospect of a unique, family-friendly destination opening its doors in the neighborhood,” said 9th Ward Alderman Coleen Burrus. “Both Alderman Rainey and I have worked to bring something to this space that is good for the community and the neighborhood. Transforming this unoccupied commercial space into a successful small business benefitting the community has been a long time in the making. It would be a win-win for Evanston residents and the local economy.”
“Little Beans café is a wonderful use for the Asbury Oakton site,” said 8th Ward Alderman Ann Rainey. “While a grocer or produce provider did not materialize, CVS was very supportive in our efforts to make certain that a proper use eventually occupied that space. They are to be commended for that.”
“We love the city of Evanston and feel it’s the perfect mix of urban and suburban for Little Beans,” said co-owner Shannon Valko. “Little Beans is a place families can play, imagine, create…and caffeinate. Evanston residents and families will love having a new place to enjoy time with their kids for play, parties and events, as well as a new option for drop-off camps, classes and other specialty programming.”
Valko will tell community members more about the cafe’s plans at Ald. Burrus’s 9th Ward Meeting at 7 p.m., Wednesday, February 12, at the Levy Senior Center, 300 Dodge Ave.
Little Beans boasts an assortment of coffee drinks and snacks that both families and customers not utilizing the play area alike can enjoy in a comfortable atmosphere while children play, learn, imagine and create in an interactive indoor village and playground. The café offers classes, activities, camps, events, parties and open play. In addition to the Evanston location’s interior space, Little Beans also plans a drive-thru. For more information, visit www.littlebeanscafe.com.