Fall plantings brighten up business districts and entice customers. RoundTable photo

In most of Evanston’s business districts, the planters are filled with fall foliage and holiday lights will soon wink from trees and light-posts. Darkened storefronts, however, reinforce the economic downturn that is but one of the ravages of COVID-19.

Meeting remotely, members of the City’s Economic Development Committee on Oct. 28 received an update of the state of businesses here – prepared before Governor J.B. Pritzker’s new restrictions that began in force that day.

While many venerable businesses have closed because of the pandemic, some new businesses have opened and many projects are still in the pipeline. Information culled from the Economic Development Committee packet showed 41 businesses had closed and 56 new businesses opened since January of this year.

Below is a list, by business district, of businesses recently opened and recently closed, as well as vacant spaces that the City is monitoring or may soon be occupied. The information was taken from the packet prepared by City staff for the Oct. 28 Economic Development Committee meeting.

Central Street Business District

Open or In the Works

1804 Central St., Gallery Wear, DBA Beat Street; gift and toy shop with art gallery and lessons – open.

2676 Green B ay Road, Zera Studios DBA Konscious Body Fitness; personal training and group class fitness studio – moving from Kenilworth and opening soon.

2930 Central St., Sports and Ortho PT, Chiropractor; open.

1713 Central St., Pilates Central Wellness Center, Pilates Studio; open.

1810 Central  St., Raven and Dove, antique shop relocated from Wilmette; open.

Central Street Metra Station Café – negotiations ongoing.

1801 Central St. – being monitored; under construction.

2120 Central St., new wine shop in former City Fit

Central Street Planning Crawford/Gross Point: Preliminary TIF Analysis report received from consultant for review.

Central Street Social Service Area – EvMark is providing SSA management service/ programming underway.

Vacancies / Closures

1945 Central  St., Symphony’s, vacant.

2608-2610 Green Bay Road, vacant property for lease; 1352 sq. ft. retail space available.

2652 Green Bay 2652 Green Bay Road; vacant property for lease, 3626 sq. ft. available, auto repair shop.

2672 Green Bay Road, vacant property for lease; 1700 sq. ft. retail /restaurant space available.

3006 Central St., Central Rug and Carpet; landlord seeking tenants.

1909 Central St., vacant property for lease; 1213 sq. ft. retail space available.

1911 Central St., vacant property for lease; 1050 sq. ft. retail space available.


New Businesses

1625 Hinman Ave., Graduate Hotels; AJ Capital Partners purchased the Homestead and opened it as Graduate Evanston.

805 Greenwood St., Ste. 30, D.H. Charles Engineering Inc.; new engineering firm opening.

1557 Sherman Ave. (former Pete Miller’s), Reza’s; lease signed 11/8/19, “awaiting COVID.”

1615 Sherman Ave., Penzey’s Spices; work completed, awaiting final inspection and certificate of occupancy; opening soon.

1619 Chicago Ave. European Wax Center open.

1520 Sherman Ave., (former Bar Louie Space); new restaurant under construction.

1642 Orrington Ave.; Chicago Strings took over Assembly Creators space, open.

810-32 Dempster St.; Village Farmstand in former Hewn Bakery space; open.

1009 Davis St., Allergy Free Kitchen Incubator opening in former Greek restaurant and Chicago hot dog restaurant space.

Ongoing Projects / Opportunities

820 Davis St., new owner is making significant renovations.

1014 Davis St., Guidepost Montessori is taking over the space formerly occupied by Audio Consultants, now under construction.

1630 Sherman Ave., Northwestern Medicine Medial Office is taking over the former Barnes & Noble space.

1740 Orrington Ave., Burger King’s lease expires next year; interested developers have contacted property owner.

900 Clark St., Dogtopia in process of obtaining zoning in this vacant space in Church Street Plaza.

1815 Ridge Ave., former site of National Towel; Trulee Senior Living housing project under construction.

1800 Maple Ave., Medical Cannabis (MedMen) plans to expand into the former Enterprise space; Enterprise plans to rent the former parking office

1001 University 1001 Place, Office space available but no update.

906 University Place, University Facilities, no update.

1640 Chicago Ave., Whole Foods Downtown; staff continues to monitor this.

1633 Chicago Ave., PNC space, 1 8,000 sq. ft. available, vacant.

1621 Chicago Ave., Athletico, vacant; 4,800 sq. ft., available for lease, vacant; Kafein space available; 1,777 sq. ft. available for lease; Joy Yee plans to relocate to the corner space at Chicago Avenue and Davis Street; 1611 Chicago Ave., former site of  U Break I Fix 1611, 650 sq. ft. available.

1619 Chicago Ave., 1 1,700 sq. ft. available.

1710 Orrington Ave., former Evanston Bistro site in Orrington Hotel, vacant, for lease.

716 Clark St., former Clarke’s Restaurant, 3,500 sq. ft. available, vacant.

1710 Sherman Ave., former Varsity Theater site, opportunities being monitored, vacant.

1712-22 Sherman Ave., former site of Gap and Mattress Firm, 24,000 sq. ft., vacant.

1601 Sherman Ave., Evanston Pub, formerly World of Beer, closed, vacant.

1620 Orrington Ave., La Macchina Restaurant, closed.

1743 Sherman Ave., former Taco Bell site, slated for new restaurant Bare Naked Bowls, architect working on interior changes.

Sherman Plaza, second floor retail space available, vacant.

501 Davis St., former Davis Street Fish Market site, health-and-wellness business opening soon, vacant.

717 Church St., second floor above Andy’s/Sprint Store/Chipotle remains available for lease.

719 Church St., Andy’s Frozen Custard, available for lease, vacant.

1700 Sherman Ave., former Panera Bread site, available for lease, vacant.

1723 Sherman Ave., former site of Unicorn Café, vacant.

602 Davis St., Steven Papageorge moved to former site of Gather.

1454-1508 Sherman Ave., Albion Residential retail space, 1,823 – 7,056 sq. ft. available.

1571 Maple Ave. 1 1,500 sq. ft. remains available

817 University Place, Las Palmas/Byline Bank property for sale: $3 million. 17,300 sq. ft.

1830 Sherman Ave., Copycat; property owner seeking tenants for garden level

1741 Maple Ave., Church Street Plaza property, vacant portion of Buffalo Wild Wings; 2 5,500 sq. ft. remains available. Salon lofts leased 4,000 sq. ft.

950 Church St., (former American Apparel); vacant, 3,500 sq. ft.

940 Church St.(former Peeled); 1,000 sq. ft., vacant.

900 Church St. (former CA Venture space), 1,119 sq. ft. available.

1702 Maple Ave., (former Cycle Bar space), 2 2,020 sq. ft. available.

1700 Maple Ave. (former Furious Spoon), vacant.

901 Church St. (former Uncle Dan’s space); 6,292 sq. ft. available.

1710 Maple Ave. (former Fifth Third Bank); 5,000 sq. ft. available, vacant.

1735 Benson Ave., Stained Glass Restaurant, vacant.

1840 Oak Ave., Northwestern University-owned property. reportedly to be listed for sale.

1708 Church St., Sojourner Church; new owner considering development options.

1890 Maple Ave., E2 retail; 4,400 sq. ft. available, vacant.

601 Davis St. (Chase Bank site), new 19-story office building with ground floor retail, 40 parking spaces; approved by City Council.

617-20 Grove St., 2,600 sq. ft. available for lease, vacant.

810 Grove St. (former Bangers & Lace space), 4,200 sq. ft. available for lease or sale.

1016 Davis St., (former Bottle and Botega); 1,900 sq. ft. available, vacant.

1630-42 Maple Ave. (former Fit Girl Studio space), vacant.

1010 Church St., (former That Little Mexican Café), vacant.

1571 Maple Ave., 1,500 sq. ft. retail space available on Elmwood side of building vacant.

1012 Church St. (former Rock N Ravioli); Northlight Theatre announced location and funding from State of Illinois; fundraising ongoing; zoning approved by City Council; project on hold.

1555 Ridge Ave., private parking lot listed for sale; complex with 50 +/- rental units, awaiting building permits.

710 Church St. (former Williams Shoes), 2,630 sq. ft. available.

700 Church St., (former Market Fresh Books), 3,050 sq. ft. available.

1020 Church St., building for sale.

1555 Oak Ave. (former King Homes); Cameel Halim purchased property; plans TBD; vacant.

1596 Sherman Ave., (former Freshii space), available for lease; vacant.

610 Davis St. (former Olive Mountain) closed.

1012 Davis St. (former Spenga space), vacant.

Chandler Plaza spaces vacant – Verizon, Potbelly, Soulwich

625 Grove St., (former Antou Salon), for lease, vacant.

1501 Chicago Ave. (former Dragonfly space), for lease, vacant.

Grove/Maple, Botti Studio, vacant.

909-990 Grove St., new retail space, vacant.

830 Davis St. 2,300 sq. ft. available, vacant.

Main Dempster Mile

New Businesses

928 Chicago Ave., SPIRIT SPYN, new spin studio, open.

600 Dempster St. (former Thee Fish Bowl), Coco Design & Build moving in.

810 Dempster St. (former Hewn Bakery), Village Farmstand moved in and operational.

1033-34 Chicago Ave., City Volkswagen acquired Autobarn VW; new ownership; Fiat and Alfa Romeo relocated to another community.

Ongoing Projects / Opportunities

South Boulevard/Hinman Ave., Parking Lot 1 redevelopment; awaiting direction from Alderman Wynne/Community Process. Planned mixed income development in partnership with neighboring Housing Authority of Cook County property.

900 Chicago Ave., Ste. 104. CoLab; City monitoring spaces.

912 Custer Ave, (former Dard Manufacturing); ongoing public meetings and coordination with staff/and merchants; new townhomes approved by City Council; owner seeking purchaser for property.

821 Chicago Ave., Sketchbook expansion open.

Vacancies / Closures

518 Main St., The Main, 2,532 sq. ft. retail, vacant.

520 Main St., The Main; 2,532 sq. ft. retail, vacant.

825 Chicago Ave., 2nd Floor (former Zen Shiatsu), approximately 2,000 sq. ft. with four separate areas, vacant.

831 Chicago Ave (barn doors), vacant.

512 Main St., (former Amanecer Tacos), vacant.

904 Hinman Ave. (old brass repair shop), vacant.

707-35 Chicago Ave., AMLI live/work, six spaces open w/ 1800 sq. ft., including one double-wide 3,600 sq. ft., vacant.

1301-03 Chicago Ave. (former French Kiss), 1,700-2,000 sq. ft. available, vacant.

900 Chicago Ave., Ste. 102, (former Evanston Public Library CAMS branch), vacant.

900 Chicago Ave., CoLab, 10,560 sq. ft., vacant

635 Chicago Ave. (former Chase Bank branch, Southpoint Plaza), space available, vacant.

912 Sherman Ave. (former Jackson Hewitt space), available, vacant.

910 Sherman Ave., Chicago Strings moving to 1642 Orrington Ave.

939 Chicago Ave., Shafer Architects; owner interested in selling.

600 Main St., Main Street Metra Station; Union Pacific/Metra negotiations ongoing, delaying retail space marketing; vacant.

812 Dempster St. (former Paramour Bungalow space); seeking tenants; Space 900 taking over half of the remaining space; vacant.

802 Dempster St. (former Board & Brush); seeking tenants, vacant.

808 Dempster St., (former Crowded Closet), vacant.

1012 Chicago Ave., Autobarn Nissan property; redevelopment interest, vacant.

1000 Chicago Ave., (Connoisseur Rugs property).

1240 Chicago Ave. ; owner seeking offers for redevelopment. Includes 614 Dempster St. as an option

718-32 Main St., (former Vogue Fabrics); new 5-story, mixed-use building with ground floor retail planned; 99 dwelling units, and 35 off-street parking spaces.

828-832 Custer Ave., 3,000 – 9,000 sq. ft. available.

717-19 Main St. (former Ten Thousand Villages).

Howard Street

New Businesses

745 Howard St. Beau Bel Body Sculpting; new body sculpting business now open.

633 Howard St., Estación.

611-21 Howard St., Palmhouse (event space); renovation underway; under construction.

140 Chicago Ave., Mobile gas station; owners upgrading; under construction.

999 Howard St. CJE Senior Life Expansion;  affordable senior housing development by CJE Senior Life / Evergreen; under construction.

705 Howard St., Caribbean Shipping; City is monitoring.

Howard Street Business Association; fall planter rotation completed.

1731 Howard St., Montelimar Bread Co. ; City is monitoring.

2222 Oakton St., Council rejected extension for climbing gym.

607 Howard St., Sweet Temptations Bakery looking to expand.

Howard Street, Vacancies, Closures

327-339 Howard St., 1,150 sq. ft. available, vacant.

309-323 Howard St., 6,139 sq. ft. available, vacant.

222 Chicago Ave., Gaynor Monument building demolished; owner to determine potential reuse.

727-29 Howard St., City-owned property for lease; approximately 2,000 sq. ft., vacant.

128-30 Chicago Ave.  Harrington Brown Residential Development; ongoing work on obtaining financing; vacant.


West End / West Village

New Businesses

839 Dodge Ave., Skillz Physical Therapy, now open.

Evanston Plaza 1924-26 Dempster St., Kids Empire (kids’ activity center) under construction.

Main Street Commons Marketplace, 2400 -2436 Main St., Five Below opening in some space occupied by Marshalls.

West End Business Association. fall planter rotation completed.

1245 Hartrey Ave., Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse relocating to this space.

2425 Oakton St., Oakton Car Wash, construction ongoing.

1813 Dempster St., Zentli; renovation underway.

2424 Dempster St. Kabul House; interest in expanding next door to Tibetan Alliance space.

West Village Business Association fall planter rotation completed


839-847 Dodge Ave., vacant retail space.

839-847 Dodge Ave. (former dry cleaners); 1,196 sq. ft. available.

838-848 Dodge Ave. (Harry Major building), 2,000 sq. ft. available, vacant.

2223 Washington St., EZ Spuds relocated to Melrose Park; City monitoring space.

Art District Florence/Greenleaf, working with artists in neighborhood on art district planning concept.

1275 Hartrey Ave., Reed Biedler Building; pursuing tenants for limited vacancies.

1335 Dodge Ave. (CNE) commercial property for sale.

1917 Greenleaf St., for sale.

1300-1338 Dodge Ave., Auto Fitness Center; 2,300 sq. ft. available.

2300-2308 Main St., Evanston Town Center; 1,210 – 4,487 sq. ft. office/retail (will divide).

West Side/CEBA, Hill Arts District

1905 Church St., Jamaican Restaurant to open in former Bozell Imports space.

Ongoing Projects / Opportunities

Foster School / Family Focus 2010 Dewey, State of Illinois grant commitment; planning ongoing.

1801 Church / 1708-10 Darrow, City-owned property; plans for RFP are TBD.

1231 Emerson St., Mount Moriah Masonic Temple; architect owner renovating building for architects’ office

1829 Simpson St. City Council approved acquisition of property.

2119 Ashland Ave., Double Clutch Brewery, space under construction.

Central Evanston Business Association (CEBA), fall planter rotation completed

Hill Arts Business Association, fall planter rotation completed

Maple/Foster Merchants, fall planter rotation completed.

West Evanston Plan N/A 5 Staff to continue efforts to implement plan


1615-1619 Simpson St. 1,100 sq. ft. available.

2113 Dewey Ave., TBD

Fifth Ward Bank, TBD, as staff are working with banks to identify potential locations for a bank in the Fifth Ward.

Commercial Sales

The City reported three commercial sales in September, gaining for the City about $11,000 in real estate transfer tax revenues s . GRF Real Estate LLC purchased 1602 Emerson/1600 Foster from LGR Commercial Properties LLC for $900,000 – $4,500 in tax revenues. Forking 4U LLC sole 945-49 Pitner Ave.to Cool Hand Holdings LLC for $435,000 – $2,175 in tax revenues. . Northwestern University sold 624 Clark St. LLC to 624 Clark St. LLC for $810,000 – $4,050 in tax revenues.


Mary Gavin

Mary Gavin is the founder of the Evanston RoundTable. After 23 years as its publisher and manager, she helped transition the RoundTable to nonprofit status in 2021. She continues to write, edit, mentor...