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2/27/2013 1:32:00 PM
New Restaurant and Brewpub Planned for Howard Street
By Shawn Jones

A proposed new “American-style bar/restaurant” expected to be named the Peckish One may be coming to the corner of Howard Street and Callan Avenue – just steps away from the new Ward 8 Bar – under a similar lease-to-purchase contract with the City. City Council approved the lease portion for introduction on the consent agenda at its Feb. 25 meeting.

The City purchased the building at 623-627 ½ Howard St. in October of 2011 for $475,000. The City anticipates spending another $200,000 on the building to bring its mechanicals, including HVAC, plumbing and electricals, up to code and turn over a “vanilla box” to the new restaurant for it to finish. This amount will be repaid in full to the City in five years if the restaurant exercises its option to purchase, because the purchase price then will be $675,000.

Peckish One will be owned and run by Jamie and Deb Evans, with Jeanne Stiles and Tom Fogarty investing in and creating a microbrewery on site. Until recently, the Evanses were co-owners and operators of the Celtic Knot Public House. They worked at Tommy Nevins prior to moving to the pub on Church Street, and have now sold their interest in the Celtic Knot to their partners.

“We’re looking for the next project,” said Mr. Evans. The couple are also behind Taste wine and food shop on Jarvis across from the Red Line CTA stop.

Under the Peckish One business plan, the owners and investors intends to sink $300,000 into the business. The business intends to employ 26 people including management, kitchen staff and waitstaff.

The proposed lease provides for no rent for the first 18 months of operations, and then graduated rent thereafter. All rent paid prior to the purchase-option exercise date will count toward the purchase price, an arrangement that mirrors Ward 8’s deal with the City.

Peckish One will feature a large outdoor patio and a stage for live music. Local activist Junad Rizki objected to the deal in part because of this: He said the outdoor music will disturb neighbors.

The Peckish team will next appear before the economic development committee. If all goes well, the permitting and construction process will begin. Mr. Evans said if approved by the City, they hope to open the restaurant in December 2013.

Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Article comment by: Junad Rizki

Mr Jones clearly did not understand my public comments in regards to the Peckish One. My main point is the City of Evanston Economic Developement staff is doing incompetent and incomplete work.

After reviewing all the documents, it is clear there is not enough funding to do this project. I suspect it is short between $300,000 to $500,000.

The question is why would the city put together a proposal that may not work? The Lit Theater went from $600,000 to over 1.7 million dollars, was this competent work by city staff?

On the issue of noise, what I was suggesting staff has not obtained approval for an out door stage, that will generate noise. What citizens need to understand the city is acting as a partner in these projects so is the city following its own rules? Is the city finanical interest over riding public interest and the city rules it applies to other projects?

Last night at the parking committee, there was a discussion over another economic development project " Chicken and Waffles" the neighbors are complaining about parking and want a residential district. The city is claiming the parking requirements were met, yet we have a major problem here.

The Roundtable reporter Mr Jones should not be looking at using a citizens comment to fill in the blanks in his story, but to get the facts straight on what citizens are really saying!

Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Article comment by: Jim Young

City of Evanston taxpayers WILL NOT be repaid in full for our $675,000 "investment" in Peckish One. Per the agreement, the City is giving Peckish One LLC a $50,000 rebate if they open on time and pay their rent on time during the 4 year period. Also, the City is "forgiving" $189,000 in rent over the 4 year period of time. So, $675,000 - 50,000 - 189,000 = $236,000.

This will be offset by real estate taxes and liquor and sales taxes, but under the current structure, City of Evanston taxpayers lose money.

This is being called "Economic Development" but it is actually a "Government Giveaway."

If City Council decides it wants to subsidize development on Howard Street because this project is going to "catalyze growth" and lead to a rejuvenation in the area, that's fine. But please don't mislead the public.

Numbers appear to be in flux - initially Peckish One LLC partners were investing $500,000 into the Pub, now it's down to $300,000 - quite a change in a quick period. Is the City still "investing" $675,000 or is our share also getting cut 40%?

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