Evanston Games & Cafe, 1610 Maple Ave., is eyeing a move to a new downtown location later this year.

The store is relocating to a part of the site that was formerly Terra and Vine on 1715 Maple Ave., according to city documents. The new location, next to the AMC theater, will add more space and visibility to the store, according to its owner.

Evanston Games and Cafe is owner Eli Klein poses for a photo in front of some store merch.
Evanston Games & Cafe’s owner Eli Klein poses in front of store merchandise. Credit: Manan Bhavnani

“Letting more people know there’s a game store here and this is a fun place to hang out, I think, will be good,” owner Eli Klein said.

He plans to relaunch the business with a new bar, ideally by mid-April, before shifting the rest of the store into the new space by early July. The new site will also see the addition of more event space.

“To try to foster more of a bar culture, a nightlife culture, a community culture is absolutely the thing I’m most excited about,” said Lo McGrath, who joins the business as bar manager.

The nearly $260,000-project is being privately funded, Klein said.

Board games on display at the Evanston Games and Cafe.
Board games on display at Evanston Games & Cafe.

According to city documents, a building permit for the new location is pending. However, the move will also require a liquor license, both at the city and state levels.

Early in the pandemic, the store closed for nearly four months, and the last few years have called for more flexibility, Klein said, remaining hopeful of the store’s future.

“Come see us when we’re open [at the new location],” he said.

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Manan Bhavnani

Prior to joining the RoundTable, Manan Bhavnani covered business and technology for the International Business Times, with a focus on mergers, earnings and governance. He is a double Medill graduate, with...

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  1. I love this. Sounds very similar to Guthrie’s Tavern that is on Addison in Lakeview. It was a great date night spot to grab a drink and play a game. Wishing you best of luck!