Whole Foods proposes wine bar, pub for Green Bay Road location


Source: City of Evanston

The incoming Whole Foods, 2748 Green Bay Road, is seeking licensing to include a bar on the premises. The store, depicted above in a rendering, has submitted proposals to the city and plans to open in July 2015.

Ben Schaefer, Assistant City Editor

The new Whole Foods Market coming to Evanston this year now includes an in-store wine bar and pub in its proposed plan.

Representatives from the grocery chain spoke about the proposal at a 6th and 7th ward meeting held by Ald. Mark Tendam (6th) and Ald. Jane Grover (7th) on Jan. 22.

“We’ve been eagerly anticipating this store,” Grover said. “There has not been a lot of pushback to the idea of the wine bar and pub.”

The store will fill the retail space at 2748 Green Bay Road, which has been vacant since Dominick’s closed at the end of 2013. This will be the third Whole Foods in Evanston.

The location is one of several new Whole Foods in the Chicago area that could include a bar.

The proposal awaits approval by the liquor commission and the City Council. Whole Foods must attain two liquor licenses, one for selling and one for serving, Grover said.

“The Dominick’s was in many ways our village green,” Grover said. “We ran into everybody there. I have been very impressed that Whole Foods is looking to recreate essential Evanston when they move in.”

During the planning process, Whole Foods designers explored local elements and typographies to come up with a theme for the store, Grover said. The theme they decided on was “home.”

In addition to the bar and pub, the grocery store plans will include a meeting room that community groups can use for gatherings.

The store will join a number of Evanston venues opened in recent years that are allowed to sell wine and liquor on site, like Temperance Beer Company and Lush Wine and Spirits, which will open in 2015.

“We’re seeing requests for different ways to serve alcohol,” Grover said. “One of the myths floating around Evanston is that the city is dry and that that’s because of Frances Willard. We’ve opened several distilleries in Evanston in the last few years. We’re responding to the ways people sell wine and beer.”

Signs are projected to go up next week, but the store is not slated to open until July. Whole Foods is currently seeking licensing to begin demolition to make way for ground-up interior renovations, said Mark Muenzer, the city’s community and economic development director.

This Whole Foods is one of seven going up in former Dominick’s locations throughout the Chicago area. The first of these new installations opened Thursday at 255 E. Grand Ave. in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood. This location includes a wine bar.

A Whole Foods representative declined to comment until the plans are final.

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