Rendering shows proposed Upsy-Daisy Cafe at the Arrington Lagoon building. Credit: City of Evanston EDC packet Credit: City of Evanston

Good Sunday morning and happy Mother’s Day to Evanston’s moms.

The Evanston Economic Development Committee members have approved a plan to operate a cafe in the Arrington Lagoon building and directed staff to start crafting an agreement with Sandeep Ghaey of the Vinic Wine Co. to operate what is to be named the Upsy-Daisy Café.

Ghaey’s plan calls for the cafe to be open for coffee in the morning and move to a wine cafe in the evening, serving light fare that would be picnic-appropriate.

The proposal will next go to the City Council for consideration at an upcoming meeting. This year, Ghaey said his team is aiming to run the cafe as a pop-up on select weekends in late July, August and maybe September.

Nichols Middle School in March. Credit: Duncan Agnew Credit: Duncan Agnew

Nichols Middle School held grade-level assemblies Friday to teach students about sexual abuse and consent in partnership with trained representatives from YWCA Evanston/North Shore, according to an email to families sent by Principal Marcus Wright and Assistant Principals Kathy Davis and Josh Seldess.

The school conducted the assemblies a day after District 65 and the Evanston Police Department launched an investigation into the alleged off-campus sexual assault of one Nichols student by other students. In a Thursday email, Wright wrote that administrators learned a video connected to the incident was circulating among students.

Evanston Police Department Commander Ryan Glew told the RoundTable Friday that police have not yet filed any charges related to the alleged assault investigation. 

The Evanston Farmers’ Market is back. Credit: Adina Keeling Credit: Adina Keeling

The Evanston Farmers’ Market returned this weekend for its 48th season. 

Opening day Saturday brought crowds to 1800 Maple Ave., where dozens of vendors sold a variety of products including locally grown fruit, flowers, herbs, cheese and baked goods. 

Seven new vendors and 47 returning vendors are signed up this season. New vendors include Mindful Baking Café, a vegan gluten-free baker; Simply MI, a farmer selling maple syrup and jams; and Thao Garden, a family farm from Wisconsin. 

“People are very, very happy to just walk around,” said Market Manager Myra Gorman. “It’s kind of like the beginning of summer for them.”

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 free celebration of local journalism featuring live music and complimentary beer! 

Join us from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at Sketchbook Brewing Co., 821 Chicago Ave. All attendees will receive two free beers, there will be live music and we’ll have some light refreshments provided by our friends at Firehouse Grill. The event is almost fully booked, so RSVP today to reserve your spot

In case you missed any of the most important news last week, here’s a roundup of the top stories from the RoundTable.

City News

Home of reparations recipient Ramona Burton. Credit: Debbie-Marie Brown Credit: Debbie-Marie Brown

Reparations Committee looking at other funding models. Evanston’s Reparations Committee wants to increase the city’s reparations fund by $2.6 million, but members are still deciding how best to go about it. Options include taking out a no-interest loan or general obligation bond, setting up a graduated real estate tax or simply transferring money from the city’s general fund.

Several programs working together to advance reparations recipient’s home makeover. Ramona Burton, 72, who was one of the first to be selected to receive a $25,000 grant, is planning to use her funds to get eight new windows, a new roof and a new backyard fence.

Snapper Poche (left) and John Fournier. Credit: Bob Seidenberg screenshot

City Manager candidates meet public at virtual town hall. Mayor Daniel Biss interviewed the two candidates on May 3, drawing questions submitted by community members during a virtual community town meeting.

Buffalo grass and purple coneflowers. Credit: Leslie Shad Credit: Leslie Shad

Evanstonians help pollinators, participate in ‘No-Mow May.’ “No-Mow May” asks residents to set aside their lawnmowers and let grass and flowers grow naturally, creating a habitat in which birds, bees and butterflies thrive. 

Credit: City of Evanston

Police Department to host catalytic converter marking event May 15. Catalytic converter thefts continue to be a concern across the country and can have a major financial impact on vehicle owners. Having a marked catalytic converter may help to deter theft.

A vacancy in downtown Evanston. Credit Bob Seidenberg Credit: Bob Seidenberg

Committee recommends hiring firm to study reviving business districts. Evanston officials are recommending a Philadelphia urban design firm to conduct a a $245,000 study of the city’s business districts, suggesting ways the city can realign itself in the aftermath of COVID-19.

COVID-19 update as of May 5: Seven-day average of new cases in Evanston jumps 41%. New COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people puts Evanston, Chicago, suburban Cook County and Illinois in the “middle” risk level.

Cara Pratt at the April 25 City Council meeting. Credit: City of Evanston Credit: Photo by Bob Seidenberg

Climate goals off track, but task force to tackle issues. Evanston is falling behind on its climate goals, but a task force dedicated to helping the city implement its Climate Action and Resilience Plan may help the city catch up. 

Midges on a screen. Credit: Adina Keeling Credit: Adina Keeling

‘Tis the season: Midges are back to bug you. If you’ve walked into a buzzing army of tiny flies lately, you’ve been a victim of the midge revival – a sure sign spring is here. But it won’t last long, said University of Illinois aquatic entomologist R. Edward Dewalt, who studies these insects.

Would-be marijuana entrepreneurs seeking to open dispensary on Howard Street. Jermell Chavis is working with friend and business partner Evanston resident Jonah Wine to obtain a cannabis dispensary license to bring weed shops to communities both on Howard Street in Evanston and in his home neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago.

Penny Park in the city’s Second Ward. Credit: RoundTable file photo

Despite debate, Evanston parks will still have closing times. Before eventually deciding to keep the opening and closing times for city parks, Evanston Parks and Recreation Board members discussed several reasons not to adopt a proposal to end park closure times.

Centrum Evanston, 1571 Maple Ave. Credit: Google Street View via City of Evanston Credit: Google Street view image from City of Evanston packet

Too much parking? City panel backs Centrum high-rise’s bid to end garage lease. The Evanston Design and Project Review Committee on May , unanimously approved a proposal allowing Centrum Evanston, a high-rise apartment building, to stop leasing garage parking spaces from the city.

YWCA Evanston/North Shore CEO Karen Singer. Credit: YWCA Evanston/North Shore

CEO Karen Singer to retire from YWCA Evanston/North Shore. After serving nearly two decades, Singer announced plans to retire from leading YWCA Evanston/North Shore. She will continue to serve as Chief Executive Officer until her successor is hired.

Credit: Anestiev/Pixabay Credit: Anestiev/Pixabay

Council member: Cultural bias evident in rejection of hookah lounges. At the city’s April 27 Economic Development Committee meeting, Eighth Ward City Council member Devon Reid suggested a cultural bias was at play with the city prohibiting the lounges, which are allowed in other places, including nearby Skokie.

The former Varsity Theter site at 1706 Sherman Ave. Credit: Bob Seidenberg Credit: Photo by Bob Seidenberg

Former Varsity Theater site moves to next chapter. Evanston City Council members have given a development team the green light on a new chapter for the building that once housed the storied Varsity Theater.

Northwestern’s Chicago campus briefly on lockdown for ‘active threat’. Northwestern University sent out an AlertNU email warning the campus community to shelter in place Monday afternoon, May 2, but a second all-clear message was issued a few minutes later.


ETHS Japan Bowl team Credit: Wendi Kromash

Three ETHS seniors capture first place at Illinois Japan Bowl. Evanston Township High School seniors Jelena Djukic and identical twins Ryan and Tyler Pitts beat 49 other teams this spring for a first place finish at the Illinois Japan Bowl, a competition with questions on Japanese language, recent history, culture and day-to-day living.

Haven Middle School. Credit: Adina Keeling Credit: Adina Keeling

Parents seek answers on Haven teacher transfers. At a town hall hosted at Haven Middle School on Wednesday evening, many parents asked about a number of involuntary teacher transfers that District 65 informed employees of last Friday.

Credit: Evanston RoundTable

Districts 65 and 202 to host meeting on special education for private and home-schooled students. Districts 65 and 202 will discuss the districts’ plans for providing special education services for students with disabilities who attend private schools and home schools.

Art & Life

“Intimate Apparel” at Northlight Theatre. Credit: Liz Lauren Credit: Liz Lauren

Theater review: Northlight’s ‘Intimate Apparel’ is an exquisite fabric. One could think the play Intimate Apparel at Northlight Theater is about a Black seamstress who makes intimate apparel for wealthy white clients, but it is about so much more.

Credit: Kristin Brown

The Weekender: The RoundTable Roundup. The Evanston History Center is hosting its 47th annual Mother’s Day House Walk this weekend, but if viewing historical homes is not your cup of tea, there are plenty of other things to check out around town this weekend.

Umbrella Arts Festival celebrates Asian, South Asian, Pacific Islander culture and a return to community gatherings in Fountain Square. The Umbrella Arts Festival is a celebration designed to increase visibility and representation of the ASPA community.

The store’s first in-person workshop. Credit: Photo provided Credit: Photo provided

Bookends & Beginnings goes beyond the page with author workshops. When Nina Barrett opened Bookends & Beginnings in 2014, she had hoped to offer programming to readers to raise the profile of Evanston’s writers, but she had to table the idea. But this year she launched Bookends University, offering in-person and virtual classes.

“Shore Bird” by Ruth Ann Frazier. Credit: Gay Riseborough Credit: Gay Riseborough

Shore Bird could rise higher at the Ecology Center. Shore Bird, a sculpture at the Evanston Ecology Center, is made of corten steel, a type of steel intended to develop a rusted appearance but that doesn’t actually rust, the surface remaining permanent. 

Credit: Evanston History Center

Evanston groups launch project to collect and share Asian, South Asian, Pacific Islander history. The Evanston History Center is partnering with the Kitchen Table Stories Project to establish a local Asian, South Asian, Pacific Islander archive and to shine a brighter light on ASPA history in Evanston.

YMCA preschoolers take a walk. Credit: Susy Schultz Credit: Susy Schultz

The week in photos: April 25-May 2. Beware! This photo of YMCA preschoolers may cause cuteness overload! Send your Evanston photos to and we will share them with the community.

Central Street display. Credit: Ned Schaub Credit: Ned Schaub

Ready. Set. Spring! on Central. Shoppers and diners from Evanston and nearby suburbs came to enjoy Central Street’s “Ready. Set. Spring!” event Saturday, April 30.

The art of rangoli. Credit: Wendi Kromash Credit: Wendi Kromash

Rangoli workshop at EPL brightens rainy day. Bindu Reddy is passionate about Indian culture and heritage. Every Saturday, Reddy teaches a free class at Evanston Public Library to help American children of Indian descent learn Hindi. Recently she introduced her students to the art of rangoli.

Mudlark Theater’s production of The Tempest. Credit: Allen Rein Credit: Allen Rein

Mudlark actors work their magic on Shakespeare’s ‘Tempest.’ Aspiration, commitment, creativity and fellowship, a lot of fellowship – those are the makings of a good youth theater. And the Mudlark Theater cast displayed all of those this past weekend when they debuted a version of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, adapted by Mudlark’s Director Andrew Biliter.

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 I am wondering what to do with them.

The Beatles. 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. 

Dino Robinson: History Preserved, A Life of Legacy. Dino didn’t see the contributions of Black people represented in the local historical societies, so he created Shorefront Legacy Center to change that narrative.

Public Square

Guest essay: Community Alliance for Better Government endorses Snapper Poche for City Manager. “We need a brilliant leader with vision, compassion, humility, and the ability to build consensus and trust in city government.”

A 2021 Abortion-rights demonstration in Chicago. Credit: Sam Stroozas Credit: Sam Stroozas

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy condemns the U.S. Supreme Court’s draft opinion on Roe v. Wade. “When my phone started blowing up late Monday night, I couldn’t have prepared myself for the news of the leaked Supreme Court opinion overturning the 1973 decision known as Roe v. Wade.”

State Rep. Robyn Gabel declares that the fight for reproductive freedom continues. “For decades, right wing extremists have waged a war on women in part by attempting to chip away at abortion and reproductive rights.”

State Rep. Gong-Gershowitz responds to possible overturning of Roe v. Wade. “The possibility that Roe v. Wade will be overturned represents the greatest threat to reproductive rights and bodily autonomy that we have seen in decades.”

Family car.

Nancy E. Anderson: Life’s transitions and our big, black car. “Why do I feel sad?” I said to my husband a few days ago as we walked in the front door of our house. We had just sold our 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis.

Charles Wilkinson: Mindfulness and memory. When I stop to think about the who and why of me, I feel the need for honesty, humility and gratitude for every moment of my being. All of them add up to who I am, the Now of me.

Les Jacobson: Spring has unsprung. I remember spring. It was several Saturdays ago, blue sky, light breeze, in the 70s. I took myself to the wonderfully named Rocky Miller Park at Northwestern and watched a baseball game.


ETHS boys gymnastics: Van Leer, Lesch capture sectional gym titles. Erik Van Leer captured the individual championship on floor exercise with a score of 9.15 and senior teammate Aryeh Lesch took top honors on vault at 9.25.

ETHS girls soccer: Dominguez plays beat the clock in win over Trevians. Nahla Dominguez displayed her “senior smarts” with a heads-up play that produced a vital goal just before halftime Thursday in Northfield.

ETHS girls track: Whatley falls short in bid to repeat as CSL shot put champ. Senior Olivia Whatley fell short in her bid to repeat as conference shot put champion at the Evanston track, but did earn runner-up honors in both the shot and discus.

ETHS girls soccer: Kits boot GBN, clinch CSL South championship. Jocelyn Leigh’s ability to score goals in bunches has pushed her to the top of the scoring list for Evanston’s soccer team this spring.

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

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

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Adina Keeling

Adina Keeling is a photojournalist and reporter, covering city news, sustainability, schools, and art. She also investigates mental health systems and environmental injustices in Evanston, and puts together...