The city is looking to make a deal for a former police department outpost at 633 Howard Street, in a 2,300-square-foot retail space adjacent to other high-end food-and-drink businesses that have recently occupied other vacated city buildings, including craft cocktail lounge Ward Eight and the brewpub Peckish Pig.
The city is hoping the police outpost will house another food-related business, but one that attracts more daytime customers to complement the block’s existing nightlife. In a press release last week, the city said it “had previously negotiated with a coffee roaster seeking to move into a ‘bricks and mortar’ location. Unfortunately, prior to execution of the lease, the prospective tenant decided to decline the opportunity to open a standalone coffee shop/roastery and focus solely on coffee roasting.
According to local news source Evanston Now, the deal involved coffee roaster/retailer Chris Casas, and it was a pretty sweet one.
The proposed deal would have given Casas free rent for two years He then would have made a gradually escalating rent payment, that would reach $1,000 a month plus a percentage of gross sales by the fifth year. He also would have had an option to buy the building from the city after three years.
“In just the last few years, Howard Street has become home to some of Evanston’s most popular and successful establishments,” Evanston 8th Ward Alderman Ann Rainey said in the city release. “A coffee shop or another food-related business would be a wonderful addition to this already thriving business community.”