When Dave Glatt began preparing the new Dave’s Italian Kitchen, he noticed something in its new location that had been missing from the old one people.
“I really like the new place,” Glatt said. “We are in walking distance of a lot more people.”
The pasta and pizza restaurant long popular with Northwestern students moved in May to 1635 Chicago Ave. after Evanston City Council bought the old building at 906 Church St. in January to make room for the Church Street Plaza.
“The city had wanted it for years,” Glatt said.
As part of the deal, Glatt moved his restaurant, and the city paid him almost $500,000 to cover his relocation costs.
If Glatt had opted against making a deal with the city, he could have stayed in his former location until 2006, which would have hindered the development of the plaza.
But even though the move went well, it was not entirely smooth, Glatt said.
“Building a restaurant is complicated,” he said. “It’s not easy to do, and none of it ever goes as easily as you hope.”
Since the revamped Dave’s opened, Glatt has decided the Chicago Avenue location is better for business.
“The new place is bigger,” he said. “Of course expenses are up also.”
Weinberg sophomore Jeff Tucker, a frequent customer of Dave’s, said he likes the new place.
“It’s a lot bigger and more lively and has the same great atmosphere and food,” he said.
But Tucker said he misses the original location’s comfortable feel, with its worn vinyl seats, checkered tablecloths and dim lighting. Glatt had been on Church Street for almost 22 years.
“The design of this one is more aesthetically pleasing,” said Weinberg junior Sarah Babbitt.
The new location puts Dave’s closer to campus and other downtown businesses. Although business had been good at the old location, the surrounding buildings had decayed over the years, Glatt said.
He also said the new location is safer than the old one. The constant flow of people in downtown gives Dave’s a higher profile.
“We were the only night business right in that immediate area,” Glatt said.”There is just more life here.”