The building that once held the storied Varsity Theater is moving to a new use. Credit: Bob Seidenberg

Good Monday morning, Evanston.

Evanston City Council members have given a green light for a new chapter for the building that once housed the storied Varsity Theater, approving a major parking variation last week to move the project forward.

Council members voted unanimously in support of a recommendation of the city’s Land Use Commission and staff to allow 18 parking spots, including 16 off-site, rather than the 28 that would have been required for the site at 1706-10 Sherman Ave.

The council action brings to a close a long effort by owner Steve Rogin to find a new use for the building. Rogin is teaming with Chris Dillion from developer Campbell Coyle in the adaptive reuse of the former movie theater into a 35-unit apartment building with nearly 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.

Dino Robinson, the founder of the Shorefront Legacy Center. Credit: Screenshot

In Part 1 of the two-part seventh episode from Season 1, Evanston Rules podcast co-hosts Laurice Bell and Ron Whitmore talk with Dino Robinson, whom they call “a game changer who ensures the Black experience along the North Shore is not forgotten or ignored.”

“Dino didn’t see the contributions of Black people represented in local historical societies, so he created the Shorefront Legacy Center. The Legacy Center works to change that narrative and give Evanstonians (in Heavenston) an opportunity to learn. Join us as we talk with Dino.”

Week in Photos: Send your photos of events and activities around Evanston to, and we’ll share then in our weekly photo roundup Tuesday.

Sketchbook Brewing taproom.

Have a beer on us and support local journalism 

We’re kicking off our Spring Membership Drive with News and Brews, a celebration of local journalism featuring live music and free beer! 

Join us from 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday, May 9, at Sketchbook Brewing Co., 821 Chicago Ave. All attendees will receive two free beers and we’ll have some light refreshments provided by our friends at Firehouse Grill.

RoundTable editors, writers and other contributors will be on hand for the evening, along with members of our board and advisory committee. We’ll also have a short music program featuring performances by RoundTable Racial Justice Fellow Debbie-Marie Brown and Steel String Highway, the alt-country/rock band led by RoundTable VP Mark Miller and friends.

Here’s a huge thanks to our friends at Sketchbook and Firehouse Grill, our event sponsors! Attendance is limited, so RSVP today to reserve your spot

COVID-19 by the numbers: 47 new cases were reported Thursday, April 28, the last day the city updated totals. The seven-day average is 31.7 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

At This Time: Sunday at 8:08 a.m. Matt Rooney leads a bird-watching excursion at Canal Shores. The free walks are held at 7:30 a.m. every Sunday through May 29, weather permitting. May is an ideal time because many birds have returned, and trees have not regained their leaves. “I think there are a lot fewer songbirds than when I was growing up,” said Larry Jones, 72 (above Rooney’s right shoulder). “It tells us there is something seriously wrong with our environment.” To register, email Rooney at He even brings extra binoculars. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

Dear Gabby: Should I keep my old journals? Dear Gabby, in my youth, adolescence and early adulthood, I kept journals on and off. Now, my kids are grown and while sorting through old memorabilia, I came upon them and am wondering what to do with them. I would be mortified if my kids read them, but at the same time, it would be hard to throw away this record of my life and those memories.

P.S. I love you: The Beatles were the subject of last week’s Levy Lecture. Credit: UPI (via Library of Congress) Credit: UPI (via Library of Congress)

Levy Lecture: History of the Beatles in one hour. Music historian Gary Wenstrup delivered an in-depth and nuanced portrait of the start, development, growth and breakup of the Beatles at the April 26 Levy Lecture to an online crowd of nearly 300 people. 

ETHS girls track: Kits continue torrid pace with 1600-meter relay win. Evanston’s girls team tracked down five wins Saturday and earned a fifth place finish overall at the rain-plagued Palatine Relays invitational meet.

Lucretzia Jamison will assume her new role at the Youth Job Center this month. Credit: Kees Executive Search

Youth Job Center announces Lucretzia Jamison as its next Executive Director. The Evanston youth workforce agency said Jamison will be responsible for providing overall executive leadership and managing YJC’s day-to-day activities and partnering with the board to ensure ongoing strategic growth.

ETHS boys track: Kits race to relay wins at Jim Arnold Invitational. Evanston’s boys team scored relay victories in the 800-meter and 1600-meter events Saturday, powering the Wildkits to a second place team finish overall at the Jim Arnold Invitational hosted by Glenbard West.

Picturing Evanston. Detail of a spaceship, also known as SKYlofts, a live-work loft that landed on Oak Avenue just south of Church Street in 2013, designed by Berry/Spatz Architects. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)

ETHS girls badminton: Berkowitz, Garfield rule No. 1 bracket. Ella Berkowitz and Lula Garfield won the championship at No. 1 doubles and paced Evanston’s badminton team to an overall third place finish at the Central Suburban League South division tournament held Friday and Saturday at New Trier.

Join our team: The Evanston RoundTable is growing! Check out our jobs page for opportunities in editorial and levelpment.

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Many of you have made a financial gift to the RoundTable in the past year and we are so grateful for your support.  If you have not yet done so, please consider joining this community of supporters!

Around the web

Weather Service: 2 twisters touch down in the Chicago area. At least two EF-0 tornadoes reportedly touched down briefly Saturday as part of a storm system that rolled across northeastern Illinois. No injuries were reported.

Illinois’ supply of antiviral COVID-19 treatments is exceeding current demand. According to an infectious diseases clinical pharmacist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Illinois has 800 pharmacies carrying COVID-19 antiviral treatments like Paxlovid, which reduces the risk of hospitalization and death by 90% when taken within five days of symptoms appearing. “The supply that we have on hand is exceeding the current demand,” said Dr. Justin Moore.

NASA: Fireball over South was 10 times brighter than moon. Some 30 people in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas on April 27 reported seeing a fireball in the sky, and NASA has now confirmed that it was caused by a footlong asteroid that exploded 34 miles above the Louisiana swamp. The meteor, which weighed 80 to 90 pounds, “hit the atmosphere moving at 55,000 miles-per-hour.”

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Duncan Agnew

Duncan Agnew covers Evanston public schools, affordable housing, City Hall and more for the RoundTable. He also writes long-form investigations, features and the morning email newsletter three times a...