Note from your columnist: As might have already occurred to you, this column could easily be biased in the selection process of businesses mentioned. The bias will inadvertently be influenced by who I am (a white, straight middle-aged woman). So please don’t be shy, send me an email if you want to share news about businesses opening, closing, or going through other significant changes. Thank you!
We are honoring Latinx businesses this month. And I also want to remind you that this column is not meant only for retail businesses, so let’s talk about the leadership change at Puerta Abierta.
Evanston’s only Spanish immersion preschool
There is one: It is Puerta Abierta, 933 Chicago Ave. After running the school for 25 years, founder Maria Cueller Weisgal handed the leadership to Andrea Martinez, Executive Director as of July 2022, according to Karla Tiennes Koizura, President of the Board.
Martinez has a long history with the school and, according to the school’s press release, “more than 18 years of early childhood education experience,” including leadership roles at Puerta Abierta and United Catholic Youth Ministries.
Founder Weisgal is confident in the board’s choice. “Andrea is the right leader for Puerta Abierta now,” she said in the press release. Weisgal started the preschool in 1997 and was influenced by the play-based Reggio Emilia Approach. (Full disclosure: my children attended the school, leaving 12 years ago.)
Back to retail
There is a lot happening, and it does not all fit in one column.
Edzo’s Burger Shop, 1571 Sherman Ave. in downtown Evanston, re-opened in early September after being closed for eight months. Owner Eddie Lakin said he focused on making his business “future pandemic proof.” He has gone digital with his menu, with customers ordering via phone. He took down the soda machine, streamlined the flow of customers entering and leaving the store and limited staff — for now. But he plans on expanding staff and his hours (currently 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.).
His restaurant used to offer a “beef upgrade,” which meant customers could get a higher quality meat for an up-charge. But Lakin said he cannot do that due to supply chain issues. “Some farms closed during the pandemic,” he said. But, he added, he hopes to get the option back in the future. “Edzo’s is more reasonable than Epic Burger,” one recent patron, an ETHS student, told me.
Is the movie theater open, yet?
Many movie goers should be excited about the following tidbit, which we literally heard on the street.
One of our RoundTable staffers was walking in downtown Evanston at the end of September and chatted with a construction worker at the AMC movie theater complex. The company seems to be shooting for a mid-October opening with a temporary concession area until the permanent one is completed. (The popcorn machines are on backorder.) However, Ryan Noonan, from the Corporate Communications & Public Relations offices of AMC, would neither confirm nor deny the information. He said only that the company will not release information about the opening until the actual date is set.
It also appears that part of the complex (including space that extends to the second floor of the former Urban Outfitters store) will become a Sky Zone, an indoor trampoline park. So those of you who have been driving your kids to Skokie or Niles will save on gas!
Apparently a Devil Dawgs and a dental office will be on the building’s ground floor. There will be other new businesses in the complex, but they have yet to be announced.
Finally, Saville Flowers at 1714 Sherman Ave in downtown Evanston is celebrating its 80th anniversary. Customers are invited to come between 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22. The store was founded in 1942 by Don Saville, the grandfather of current owner Mark Jones. According to the press release, customers will be able to peruse the store, with light snacks and drinks being served. In addition, there will be music at 5 p.m. and food trucks for more substantial meals.