Evanston has been buzzing with rumors of a new coffee shop on the Main-Dempster Mile and the wait is almost over. Evanston Pour, co-owned by John Stumbaugh, Mike Sieja and Eric Payne, will debut before the end of the year.
Stumbaugh explained that he and his business partners noticed the space formerly occupied by Starbucks at 528 Dempster St. and started brainstorming what it could turn into – a new coffee place felt natural – but not just coffee: They plan to serve alcohol too.
“That area needs a really good coffee house and it had lost that,” Stumbaugh said. “We all thought, ‘Let’s go for it, let’s reestablish something.’”
The trio started researching coffee and saw the opportunity to add more beverages like tea, beer, wine and cocktails to create a balance between a modern cafe and bar culture. They landed on “Evanston Pour” to show this expansion beyond the average black coffee.
“There are places you can get coffee in Evanston and places you can get drinks, but few establishments can bridge the gap of both,” Stumbaugh said. “The space will be intimate and sophisticated but cozy and welcoming.”
In the 1,300-square-foot space there will be bar and cafe style seating as well as a small lounge area and outdoor seating. The owners haven’t nailed down the hours yet, but they are planning to be open early and close late some nights to provide an after-hours gathering place for Evanstonians under the soon-to-come festoon lighting.
Their small food menu will include breakfast options such as bagels with cream cheese or preserves, locally purchased pastries and a grab-and-go case. Small plates offered in the afternoon and evening will include open-face sandwiches, salads, charcuterie boards and panini sandwiches.
Mornings will include regular drip coffee, cappuccinos, pour-overs and loose-leaf tea. Starting at 11 a.m., mimosas and bloody marys will be offered.
“We’re setting up the kind of place where we would want to hang out as owners,” Stumbaugh said. “Our goal is to use as many local vendors as possible and keep it simple. We want to offer food items that are not difficult to prepare and are well-plated, things we love.”
Stumbaugh hopes to open in mid or late December, but the business still must go through the permitting process.