Evanston intervenes to help struggling restaurant

Tori Latham, Assistant City Editor

Evanston will restructure a loan to a local chicken and waffles restaurant to relieve some of its financial struggles.

Chicago’s Home of Chicken & Waffles, 2424 Dempster St., was first approved for a $200,000 loan in May 2012 to help pay for renovations to the space the restaurant was taking over. The restaurant has since fallen behind on loan payments, and the restructuring is meant to help with that, said Paul Zalmezak, the city’s economic development coordinator.

“The restaurant’s owner invested a lot to take an old auto shop and convert it into a beautiful restaurant,” Zalmezak said. “This restructuring is meant to bring them back into compliance so they can continue to operate.”

According to city documents, Johanna Nyden, the city’s economic development manager, told city officials the restaurant’s revenue was not what they originally expected. Because of this, the business has only been able to make irregular payments, leaving more than $14,000 in overdue payments.

The new loan modifications will extend the schedule for paying back the loan from 20 years to 30 years so the restaurant’s monthly payment can be reduced. The general terms and interest rate will remain the same as what was originally presented in 2012.

“There is not a lot of investment in this area, the west side of Evanston,” Zalmezak said. “This is an important business for this community. We want to make sure we continue the positive momentum in the west side.”

The new payments will begin March 1 with the outstanding balance and February payment added to the loan balance.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @latham_tori