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Shoppers and diners from Evanston and nearby suburbs came to enjoy Central Street’s “Ready. Set. Spring!” event Saturday, April 30. Despite rain in the morning and overcast skies, many shops’ doors were still wide open, with shoppers flowing in and out.
Some who came said they had been watching the weather forecasts closely, timing their trip to Central Street to walk between the rain showers. When the sun came out around midday, the street was noticeably busier and some who stopped to speak with the RoundTable expressed their delight with the day.
Aydin Dincer, owner of the former Prairie Joe’s restaurant, is seated in the window of his shop and gallery, Prairie Joe’s West, working on a painting. He said he’s currently working on a series of small paintings on whatever subject he feels like.
A father and son walk along Central Street during “Ready. Set. Spring!”
Charlie Mullenix, who co-owns the florist shop MilleFiori with his wife, Tracy Rosenquist, said that spring in Evanston was bringing folks in, but they were seeing more customers than they would typically see.
Friends Jean Fargo (left) and Sarah Spitz came to the event together. Fargo said, “It turned out to be a beautiful day. Everybody missed it if they were worried about the rain. We’ve been up and down the street, great bakeries up and down the street – they’re tough to walk by.” Referring to the midday sun that had come out, Spitz added, “Everybody seems to be out, because of the sunshine.”
Cheryl Jaffe, who hails from Glenview, came out especially for “Ready. Set. Spring!” Among other stops she and a friend were planning to make along Central Street, they listed the boutique Stella, Bluestone restaurant and the craft beer shop Beer on Central.
Friends Gail Bernero (left) and Ruth Well said they love Central Street. When they decided to come out for the event, they tracked the weather to figure out the best time to catch the sun, or at least avoid the rain. Well said, “As soon as we parked, the sun came out.” They said they planned to eat outside at Foodstuffs market because of the selection and then head to Tag’s Bakery for dessert.
George Estey, a manager at the Spice House, said it had been a very busy day for the shop, particularly when the sun came out.
Blended Health and Smoothie Bar opened its new Evanston location Saturday. The owner, April Doremus (right), who also owns the other Blended location in Glenview, said the shop had a consistent flow of customers once the sun came out. With Doremus is managing partner Sam Dexter.
Ralph Beck, with his dog Scout, said he enjoyed Central Street and the sun, and he is ready for spring.
Scott Dixon and his family came out for “Ready. Set. Spring!” to see what was happening on Central, to stop in at Blended Health and Smoothie Bar and visit Beer on Central.
Four Finches Flowers and Gifts’ assistant designer said he saw lots of people come in Saturday and many with lots of shopping bags.
Despite the lack of afternoon sun, there was a steady flow of shoppers out for “Ready. Set. Spring!,” including those sitting at outdoor tables in front of Foodstuffs market.
Central Street stores were decked out with bright colors, window displays, flower boxes and other signs of spring.