From 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., customers on Dempster Street walk to Evanston Burr to get pastries or coffee from the local bakery. But in the late afternoon he pours in dim the lights, puts candles on the tables and starts playing ambient music.
The new Evanston Pour café opened near Dempster train station about two months ago. When Starbucks closed for 23 years in December 2021, Evanston Burr owner John Stombo and his business partners saw an opportunity to create a new European-style coffee shop. It is now open daily and serves coffee, tea, beer, wine, small plates and pastries.
“It’s great to see people ordering coffee drinks and someone drinking beer or wine and then a small plate at the same time,” Stombo said.
Stumbaugh said the Evanston Pour provides connection and fun, whether customers are coming in for a drink, a date or a birthday celebration.
“One of the most rewarding parts of opening a cafe is seeing how people come together,” Stombo said. “We are a point of contact for people.”
The café has dark walls with hanging lights and large windows that let in natural light.
The cafe bar is located in the middle of the space with tables and chairs around.
Evanston Pour collaborates with Evanston Made to rotate work from local artists each month. This month, the store is showing off colorful multi-media murals in the Cie Bond style. Stampo said all of Bond’s artwork has already been sold.
Stumbaugh said he encourages Northwestern students to order anything from a plate of charcuterie to a glass of wine. His personal favorite on the list is the cortado, a Spanish coffee drink that contains equal amounts of espresso and warm milk.
Evanston resident Elide Geddes ordered a glass of wine and a plate of cheese. She said she was glad to have Evanston Burr near her apartment.
“(It’s) a nice sidewalk cafe,” she said. “Nice decor inside.”
Evanston resident Alison Woolcott said she used to see the Starbucks sign every time she visited the Blind Faith cafe across the street. She was happy to see Evanston Pour replace the series.
“I love it,” Walcott said. This is my first time here, and I was pleasantly surprised to see “Oh, there is an independent cafe.” “I was really excited to get in, it’s beautiful inside and across the street.”
Walcott said she would love for the community to have a space to have conversations with each other. She said that sidewalk seating and good organization inside are similar, too.
Stumbaugh said bringing the Evanston Pour into the community was exciting.
“We have great coffee service. Stombo said our team is really well trained. “At night, you can come over and get a glass of wine, you can have a charcuterie or a panini or a salad, and so it’s kind of the best of both worlds.”
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