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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.

Credit: Ned Schaub

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.

Credit: Ned Schaub

A father and son walk along Central Street during “Ready. Set. Spring!”

Credit: Ned Schaub

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.

Credit: Ned Schaub

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.”

Credit: Ned Schaub

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. 

Credit: Ned Schaub

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. 

Credit: Ned Schaub

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.

Credit: Ned Schaub

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.

Credit: Ned Schaub

Ralph Beck, with his dog Scout, said he enjoyed Central Street and the sun, and he is ready for spring.

Credit: Ned Schaub

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.

Credit: Ned Schaub

Four Finches Flowers and Gifts’ assistant designer said he saw lots of people come in Saturday and many with lots of shopping bags.

Credit: Ned Schaub

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.

Credit: Ned Schaub

Central Street stores were decked out with bright colors, window displays, flower boxes and other signs of spring.

Ned Schaub

Ned Schaub is a feature story writer for the RoundTable. He has served as reporter, content developer and communications manager across his career in the field of nonprofit communications. Ned studied...

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