Colectivo Coffee plans to come to Evanston


Daily file photo by Katie Pach

RadioShack, 716 Church St. A Colectivo Coffee shop will replace the RadioShack at the prominent corner in downtown Evanston.

Catherine Henderson, Reporter

Colectivo Coffee hopes to join the crowded market of coffee shops in Evanston.

The Milwaukee-based cafe plans to open its second Illinois location on the corner of Church Street and Sherman Avenue, where RadioShack was formerly located, said Paul Zalmezak, Evanston’s economic development manager.

Colectivo still has to go through zoning measures and a social use process before starting construction, Zalmezak said. The earliest the cafe could open, he said, is in the spring.

Zalmezak said he is looking forward to reactivating one of the “best corners in the city.” He said RadioShack was “disappointing and outdated” for such a prominent spot in downtown Evanston.

“Colectivo promises to make a bright open space, reopen the windows and bring a really good brand to that corner,” Zalmezak said. “It’s going to be a community gathering spot. It’s exciting.”

Colectivo has 16 shops in Wisconsin and one in Lincoln Park, Chicago. The first location opened in 1993.

Zalmezak mentioned the possible negative effects on business Colectivo could have on other local coffee shops such as Patisserie Coralie, Unicorn Cafe and Kafein. The opening of a Colectivo in Evanston would affect Unicorn in particular, as the cafe serves Colectivo coffee.

However, Zalmezak said he has noticed it is difficult to find seats in cafes at prime time, suggesting that the demand for coffee shops is greater than the number currently in Evanston. He also said other projects aim to increase residential density in downtown Evanston, providing more customers for businesses in the area.

“Perhaps initially it’s gonna hurt the existing players, but I think it will be OK,” Zalmezak said.

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