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Preliminary review for Howard Street dinner theater receives positive recommendation

A rendering for the new Theo Ubique dinner theater that was presented Wednesday. The Chicago-based cabaret theater hopes to renovate a much-discussed vacant storefront at 721 Howard Street.

Source: Ross Barney Architects

A rendering for the new Theo Ubique dinner theater that was presented Wednesday. The Chicago-based cabaret theater hopes to renovate a much-discussed vacant storefront at 721 Howard Street.

Ben Pope, Summer Editor

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A preliminary plan to renovate a Howard Street building into a dinner theater received a positive recommendation by the city’s Design and Project Review Committee on Wednesday.

Theo Ubique, a Chicago-based cabaret theater company, is the third different theater group to attempt to obtain the existing vacant storefront at 721 Howard St. in the past several years. The group received lease approval for the building from City Council in March.

Evanston officials presented plans on Wednesday that contain a floor plan for the renovated interior, which would include a bar, stage, area with tables and chairs and changing rooms.

The existing storefront would be replaced, including signage to attract the attention of pedestrians walking westward from the Howard El station.

The plan also included installing two normal and one handicap parking space in the rear of the building, bordering an alley. The committee discussed the possibility of converting an empty property next door into a full parking lot at some point in the future.

Architects said Theo Ubique representatives were very involved in the designing process, and the committee voted unanimously to support a motion of positive recommendation for the preliminary proposal.

In November, the city committed $1.4 million to the project and asked Theo Ubique to raise another $200,000 on its own. No update was given Wednesday on the status of such fundraising.

Email: [email protected]hwestern.edu
Twitter: @benpope111

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