Chicago-based tavern to open in former Keg Of Evanston location


Source: Bangers & Lace

The Chicago-based tavern Bangers & Lace tavern specializes in sausage and craft beer. The restaurant plans to open a second location in Evanston, at the site once occupied by The Keg of Evanston, by September.

Sophia Bollag, City Editor

A Chicago-based tavern will move into the space formerly occupied by The Keg of Evanston, property manager Evan Oliff said Monday.

Bangers & Lace, a restaurant that specializes in sausages and craft beers, plans to open its second location by September at 810 Grove St., said Oliff, president of Preferred Development, the real estate consulting group leading the development of the space.

Paul Zalmezak, Evanston’s economic development coordinator, described the food, drinks and overall atmosphere of Bangers & Lace as “high quality.”

“I think it’s going to be a really good fit for the Evanston dining scene,” Zalmezak said. “We have an upscale, professional population. Even students like to dine in a quality environment. … It’s the perfect example of what our dining scene’s about.”

Bangers & Lace filed an application with the city for building permits last week, Zalmezak said. It will also have to apply for a liquor license in order to open. Oliff said he did not anticipate that the restaurant would run into any problems in receiving approval from the city.

The restaurant will fill a space that has been vacant since The Keg closed in March 2013. Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl revoked The Keg’s liquor license in January 2012 after 17 people were arrested on the same night for underage drinking, a move that started a long legal battle between the bar and the city.

Oliff said Bangers & Lace was the type of “very sophisticated” restaurant he had hoped to find to replace The Keg. He is still looking for a second tenant to fill the rest of the space.

“I’m looking for a sophisticated yet unique restaurant,” he said. “I’m not interested in putting in a Taco Bell or another McDonald’s or a White Castle in that space.”

Zalmezak said he appreciated that Oliff was not rushing to select a second tenant for the space, despite the building’s good location and the strong downtown business environment.

“He could lease it to anybody,” Zalmezak said. “But he’s really holding back and really trying to attract a high quality tenant, which I think is great. … That’s going to hopefully elevate the game here.”

Bangers & Lace will feature 32 draft beer selections. The name refers to “bangers,” the British term for sausage, and the “lace” of foam left behind in a beer glass as the drink is consumed.

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