Downtown Evanston Small Business Spotlight

Established in 1987, Downtown Evanston is a main attraction and local hub for a myriad of commerce, community attractions, and services. The business district is enveloped by a showcasing of public art, parks, and a lively list of community events welcoming locals and visitors alike. Many of Fulton Grace’s employees and agents call Evanston home, thus the Downtown Evanston strip is among the most visited areas of their neighborhood and certainly a hotspot for grabbing a coffee, celebrating with fine dining, or meeting a date. Below are 5 small businesses that Fulton Grace’s Marketing Department hand-selected as among their most cherished in this area of Evanston. Read a few of their reasons why along with reviews of the business by visitors.

NaKorn Ubran Thai

It’s hard to ignore the popularity of this welcoming Thai restaurant with craft cocktails and a hand-selected wine list. Although the dishes are approachable yet high-end, you’ll inevitably find yourself in awe when served. Of course, that’s after you stop Insta-storying the interior decor to take in your delicately presented delicious dish. Our Marketing Director and her family visit this hot spot so often that the staff knows her daughter’s name! Regardless if it is a date night with her and her husband, celebrating a colleague’s win, or enjoying getting out of the house for dinner with her 2-year-old, everyone thoroughly enjoys their time here.


Sketchbook Brewing 

“Beer is art. Beer is community.” If that byline doesn’t capture the importance Sketchbook Brew holds its hops to, we don’t know what does. Downtown Evanston and Skokie are both home to taprooms for the brewery, where its delicious beers are micro-brewed in Skokie, just minutes from the Evanston taproom. Founded in 2014, the young-ish brewery is a local favorite that often collaborates and supports other small businesses and non-profits. Often coveted for its small-batch brews, many of which are often called “historic” and “adventurous”. FGR’s Digital Marketing Manager especially loves their hoppy IPAs that are offered year-round. She also really covets their label designs, “it by far sets them apart and shows their inclination for creativity, if their beers didn’t already make that clear enough!”

Plant Shop Evanston 

Are you a self-described plant-mom or dad? Then you’ll LOVE Plant Shop Evanston. Come in for a swell of succulents, detailed and unique pottery options, tropical houseplants, and cacti to go crazy for. One of FGR’s dedicated graphic designers loves stopping by not only for the evolving array of options but also for their recently added one-of-a-kind mural and coffee blends that instantly transform any lackluster day into a bright one.

Newport Coffee House

It’s very easy to name Newport Coffee when considering a bean above the rest in the Evanston area. From their interior design to their hand-crafted brews and applications, it is clear Newport is very serious about a good cup of coffee. For over a decade this coffee house is keen on education and helping each of their customers to perfect their coffee even when making it at home. FGR’s Marketing Admin especially loves their cappuccinos. “It’s truly an experience from start to finish, seeing them craft a cup of coffee before your eyes.”

Madison Grace 

This recent arrival to the Downtown Evanston strip is highly welcomed to many that look for workwear you can actually wear out of work. Madison Grace offers a curated collection of comfortable yet trending classics that can easily be worn in a slew of settings. One of our Boost Marketing Coordinators especially loves the seasonal selections that offer a variety of textures for the myriad of weather patterns we see here in Chicago. Not to mention their accessory game is on par to complete any date night look or in-person work meeting.



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