Evanston committee recommends allowing Forever Yogurt sidewalk furniture

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Skylar Zhang/Daily Senior Staffer

Evanston's Site Plan and Appearance Review Committee approved a request from the frozen yogurt shop Forever Yogurt for a sidewalk cafe. Forever Yogurt is scheduled to open in June.

Josh Solomon, Reporter

An Evanston committee on Wednesday recommended outdoor seating for a frozen yogurt shop set to open by the end of the quarter on Sherman Avenue.

Kinjal Shah, co-owner of the planned franchise Forever Yogurt, appeared before the Site Plan Appearance and Review Committee in the first step toward obtaining a permit to place furniture on public property.

The committee’s recommendation to grant Forever Yogurt the permit will go to Evanston’s Planning and Development Committee. That committee will then make a recommendation to be voted on by City Council.

Evanston zoning planner Melissa Klotz said the main concern when considering outdoor seating on sidewalks is ensuring a clear path for pedestrians is maintained. Existing landscaping can also provide limitations, she said.

Shah said the outdoor seating will help decongest the limited interior space of the store, which is planned for 1739 Sherman Ave. between WineStyles and U.S. Cellular, as well as attract foot traffic.

Forever Yogurt differentiates itself from traditional yogurt shops by allowing customers to create their own concoctions with as many flavors and toppings as they would like and then pay based on the weight of their cup.

The Evanston store will be Forever Yogurt’s 15th location in the Chicago area, Shah said. Shah said the company is attracted to suburban college downtown areas like Evanston, and it noticed there was not an existing self-serve frozen yogurt location in the city.

“We really like communities by colleges because we feel that every year there’s a new freshman class, and that’s 2,000 new people a year trying our product,” Shah said.

The franchise received building permits in April, and Shah said construction is nearly complete. He expects to have a soft opening June 1, with the grand opening the following weekend.

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