Sidewalk cafes up for debate at next City Council

Ani Ajith

The Evanston City Council will vote Monday whether to allow Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches and Bar Louie to set up sidewalk cafe extensions for their restaurants on Sherman Avenue.

The council will also hear initial details on a potential ordinance to enact a five-cent tax on disposable plastic shopping bags in the city; the council is not scheduled to vote on the ordinance at this meeting. City staff will also recommend the purchase of 26 new street light power centers.

The application for the sidewalk cafe permit ordinarily requires that the restaurant’s flatware, dishware and beverage containers for the sidewalk café section be reusable, but the committee initially reviewing the application waived this requirement for Jimmy John’s. The restaurant indicated it was not planning to offer reusable flatware, dishware and beverage containers for use on the application and it does not currently offer reusable cutlery and drink containers at its 1729 Sherman Ave. restaurant.

The relevant city ordinance says the “prohibition on the use of single-use dishes, utensils, beverage containers or foil, paper, plastic or plastic wrapping or packaging may be waived by the city council upon a showing of good cause,” and the causes could be “provisions of table bus service” or a “litter control and disposal plan … sufficient to obviate any adverse off site effects of the grant of the waiver.”

There were no waivers for the Bar Louie application, which was accepted and approved as submitted. The restaurant and bar will offer liquor to patrons in the sidewalk cafe section as well.

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