Dave’s New Kitchen opens on Noyes Street


Source: Dave Glatt

Inside Dave’s New Kitchen, a 1,200-square-foot space which on Friday opened its doors for take-out orders via a limited menu. Dave Glatt relocated his restaurant to Noyes Street after closing his previous location on Chicago Avenue in April due to a downturn in business and mounting debt.

David Fishman, Reporter

After months of uncertainty, the former owner of Dave’s Italian Kitchen opened the doors to his new Noyes Street restaurant with a “soft opening” Friday night, including orders for pick up and a limited menu.

“My guys and I are very anxious to cook,” owner Dave Glatt said. “Practice cooking is kind of masturbatory, we need the pressure. … You need the clock against you. It’s the difference between cooking pro stuff and cooking at home.”

Glatt said the new venture — officially dubbed Dave’s New Kitchen, 815 Noyes St. — was still a “work in progress,” but that he had nearly finished the interior and hoped for a grand opening later this month. After closing the old location in April, Glatt said he was able to rehire about a third of his former staff, plus a few new employees with prior restaurant experience.

The new location, a 1,200-square-foot space previously occupied by Arlen’s Chicken and DMK Burger & Fish, holds about 40 people, a far-cry from the restaurant’s former space on Chicago Avenue. Glatt said he had hoped to open the new restaurant in late May, but issues with the lease delayed the debut until now.

Under the new business structure, Glatt’s daughter Sara legally owns the restaurant while Dave Glatt and his wife execute day-to-day operations. Sara Glatt said she had always been drawn to “small bustling businesses” and looked forward to helping her parents.

“This experience has been humbling,” she wrote in an email. “I was raised in the restaurant but have newfound appreciation for how much goes into it. The outpouring of support from the community kept us going.”

Friday night, the restaurant offered a limited menu that included pizzas, calzones and other classics from the old location. Katherine Orr, an Evanston resident who regularly ate at the old Dave’s, said pizza at the new location was “as good if not better.”

“Dave’s will be very successful, because he’s got great food and a great following,” she said. “When I first heard that the previous restaurant was closed it was just devastating. It’s a place that has been such an important part of my life. It’s great that he’s back.”

Glatt originally closed his former Chicago Avenue restaurant on April 11 due to a downturn in business and mounting debt. The announcement — which came abruptly and without immediate explanation — elicited a strong reaction from the local community. Glatt said that reaction, along with more than $10,000 from an online fundraiser, prompted him to reopen in a new, smaller location on Noyes Street.

In the weeks that followed, Glatt briefly pursued a loan from the city — recommended by Evanston’s Economic Development Committee — before turning to the local community for money in an online fundraiser. Some people criticized the city for offering Glatt a loan, while others insisted the 44-year-old business had earned itself another chance.

Paul Zalmezak, an Evanston economic development official, said his office had performed its function well by keeping a local business alive. Since the initial announcement in April, Zalmezak and Glatt have been working closely together to find a new space, accrue funding and secure kitchen equipment.

“I’m proud of the work we did,” Zalmezak said. “The fact that we were considering a loan raised his profile in the private investment community and got some media attention. … We did our job to retain a business and retain some jobs in Evanston.”

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