Evanston approves construction of new location for Taco Diablo, Lulu’s

Paige Leskin, City Editor

The city approved a permit Wednesday that will allow construction to begin at the space where Evanston residents plan to reopen Taco Diablo and Lulu’s, two restaurants which closed in the last 12 months.

With the approval, co-owners Daniel Kelch and Marty Cless can raze the existing building on the plot, 1026 Davis St., and construct a two-story building for the two restaurants to reside.

Architect John Myefski submitted his plans for final review on behalf of the owners to the Design and Project Review Committee, formerly known as the Site Plan and Appearance Review Committee.

The owners anticipate opening both restaurants in June 2015, but the date could be delayed depending on the severity of the winter weather, Kelch told The Daily in September.

Both Taco Diablo and Lulu’s closed last academic year.

Mexican restaurant Taco Diablo, once housed at 1029 Davis St., was destroyed in an early morning fire in December 2013 that also caused two other businesses to shut down. It took multiple local fire departments about four hours to put out the fire. No one was seriously injured during the incident.

Lulu’s shuttered in February. The restaurant, which served Dim Sum and other Asian food, was profitable but was running on “cruise control,” Kelch said.

The restaurants in the new space will have menus and appearances similar to those at the old locations, although Lulu’s will have a design upgrade, Kelch told The Daily in September.

“We’ve been here for a long time, so we’re members of this community,” he said in September. “Our first desire was always to stay in downtown Evanston, where we’ve always been.”

The floor plans for the building also include additional room on the ground floor for retail space, Mark Muenzer, the city’s director of community and economic development, told The Daily in June.

The building’s second floor will have a bar concept where food is also served, Kelch said.

The new building will replace the one that once housed Tom Thumb Hobby & Crafts, which plans to open at a new location in Niles, Illinois in mid-November, according to its website.

The new plot is located across the street from Taco Diablo’s original location on Davis Street, about a block from the Davis Street CTA station.

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Twitter: @paigeleskin

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