After decades in the heart of Evanston, Dave’s New Kitchen settles into smaller space


(Daily file photo by Leeks Lim) Dave’s New Kitchen opened at 815 Noyes St last year. Dave Glatt, who runs the restaurant, previously owned Dave’s Italian Kitchen on Chicago Avenue.

Syd Stone, Reporter

After its debut last June, the staff at Dave’s New Kitchen is getting used to its new space on Noyes Street, offering up a different menu and smaller seating capacity than at its previous location downtown.

The restaurant, at 815 Noyes St., opened after the closure of Dave Glatt’s previous Chicago avenue restaurant, Dave’s Italian Kitchen, due to financial difficulties. Glatt had previously tried to get a loan from the city for his new location in the spring. However, he withdrew and instead turned to a GoFundMe campaign for funds.

Sara Glatt, Dave’s daughter and legal owner of the new restaurant, said a major difference between the new location and its two locations previous is that they can’t seat big parties like they used to. The new restaurant seats about 40 people — a significant reduction from the old location, which sat over 100, Dave Glatt said.

“The old place was so vast and expansive; this one is more intimate. It’s got a really different feel,” she said. “The entire operating structure just got significantly smaller. You can see everything that’s happening as soon as you walk through the door.”

One of the advantages of the smaller space is that the staff is able to move food and accommodate customers more quickly, Dave Glatt said.

However, customers have said the new location is not as child-friendly. Dave Glatt said this was partially because of the lack of space and booths.

NU alumna Barbara Byrne (Weinberg ‘89, Feinberg ‘93) said she has been going to Dave’s for at least 25 years and has eaten at the new location as well. Byrne said the new restaurant brings a different feel.

“The food is really good … it obviously doesn’t have the same history that the other Dave’s locations had,” she said. “It doesn’t quite have that ambiance yet, but still the same great service, great prices and great food. It’s an Evanston institution.”

Sara Glatt said the restaurant has begun to attract fresh business, namely Northwestern students, because of the new proximity to campus.

The restaurant recently acquired a liquor license and will serve a limited number of wines and beers. As a wine collector, Dave Glatt said being able to serve alcohol again was important to him, as the previous Dave’s restaurant did not renew its liquor license when it expired in 2015. The new location also serves lunch Monday through Friday, the first time the restaurant has done so in about 20 years.

Dave and his wife Ellen Glatt said they have revised their menu since the opening. Ellen Glatt said the new restaurant offers smaller portions and some healthier recipes.

Dave Glatt said he thinks some customers may be disappointed because he eliminated several dishes from the menu, but with limited kitchen space it’s hard to accommodate a larger number of offerings.

“We continue to go over every dish and are constantly changing them,” Dave Glatt said. “One of the worst things we did at the other place was that we had this attitude like, ‘Well this is how we always did it,’ (which is) not a good attitude. Because we have less room to store everything, out of necessity, everything is fresh.”

As for the future of the restaurant, Dave Glatt said he has a “here-and-now” attitude.

“We need to be new every day, and we can’t rest on our laurels,” he said. “There has to be a disconnection from the old place to this. As much as I appreciate the time there, there are too many things that I’m happy to leave behind.”

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