Fans of the food and atmosphere of restaurateur Dan Kelch may take comfort in the fact that his disappearance from Evanston’s restaurant scene is temporary.
Mr. Kelch voluntarily closed Lulu’s Dim Sum and Then Some, 804 Davis St., a few months ago, and Boltwood is now serving its eclectic American cuisine there.
A conflagration in the 1000 block of Davis Street on December 29 of last year destroyed Pine Yard restaurant, TechniColour Nail & Day Spa and Mr. Kelch’s Taco Diablo restaurant.
Mr. Kelch and his partner Martin Cless plan to raze the building at 1026 Davis St. that for decades housed the Tom Thumb hobby and craft shop. They would build a new structure, the west half of which would be used as retail space and the east half for restaurants.
Lulu’s Asian Fusion and Taco Diablo would be on the ground floor and a bar, an outdoor terrace and an event space on the second floor, Mr. Kelch said.
Taco Diablo and Lulu’s would each seat about 60 people, and the upstairs area would handle 50-60, Mr. Kelch said.
On July 1, the City’s Zoning Board of Appeals gave the project a green light, recommending approval of a decreased rear-yard setback – 9.9 feet rather than 15 feet – and zero on-site parking spaces, where 31 are required by the City code. Fire Department regulations require that the back staircase be enclosed, which the developers said they would do.
The project received enthusiastic approval at the July 14 City Council meeting. Third Ward Alderman Melissa Wynne appeared delighted at hearing a “yes” answer to her question, “Will you bring back sesame noodles?”