New coffee house Evanston Pour provides a morning and night space for Evanston


Jorge Melendez/The Daily Northwestern

Evanston Pour. The new Evanston coffeehouse serves a traditional café menu as well as a wine bar menu.

Kristen Axtman, Reporter

From 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., customers walk down Dempster Street into Evanston Pour to get a pastry or a coffee from the local bakery. But in the late afternoon, Pour dims the lights, places candles on tables and starts playing ambient music.

Evanston Pour, a new coffeehouse, opened near the Dempster train station about two months ago. When a Starbucks store of 23 years closed in December 2021, Evanston Pour owner John Stumbaugh and his business partners saw an opportunity to create the new European-style coffeehouse. It’s now open every day serving coffee, tea, beer, wine, small plates and pastries. 

“It’s pretty cool to see people ordering coffee drinks and somebody’s having a beer or wine and then a small plate all at the same time,” Stumbaugh said.

Stumbaugh said Evanston Pour offers connection and fun, whether customers are coming for a drink, a date or a birthday celebration.

“One of the most rewarding parts about opening a coffee shop is seeing how people come together,” Stumbaugh said. “We’re a connecting point for people.”

The coffeehouse has dark walls with hanging lights and large windows that let in natural light.

The café bar is centered in the middle of the space with tables and chairs set up around it.

Evanston Pour partners with Evanston Made to rotate work from local artists each month. This month, the shop features Cie Bond’s colorful multimedia collage-style wall art. Stumbaugh said almost all of Bond’s art has already sold out.

Stumbaugh said he encourages Northwestern students to order anything from a charcuterie plate to a glass of wine. His personal favorite drink on the menu is the cortado, a Spanish coffee drink that has equal amounts of espresso and warm milk.  

Evanston resident Eilidh Geddes ordered a glass of wine and a cheese plate. She said she’s glad to have Evanston Pour close to her apartment. 

“(It’s a) nice sidewalk café,” she said. “Beautiful inside decoration.”

Evanston resident Allison Wolcott said she used to see the Starbucks sign every time she visited Blind Faith Cafe across the street. She was happy to see Evanston Pour replace the chain.

“I love it. This is the first time I’ve come here and I was pleasantly surprised to see ‘Oh, there’s an independent coffee shop,’” Walcott said. “I was really excited to come in, and it’s beautiful inside and across the street.”

Walcott said she likes that the community has a space to have conversations with each other. The sidewalk seating and well-organized indoors are both draws as well, she said. 

Stumbaugh said bringing Evanston Pour to the community has been exciting.  

“We have fantastic coffee service. Our team is trained really well,” Stumbaugh said. “At night, you can come in and get a glass of wine, and you can get a charcuterie plate or a panini or a salad, and so it’s kind of the best of both worlds.”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @KristenAxtman1


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