Main-Dempster Small Business Spotlight

Evanston’s Main-Dempster Mile is home to over 200 small businesses and nourished by the surrounding community that encourages it to thrive. Stretching across Evanston, this mile-long hot spot offers residents a plethora of opportunities to shop, gather, relish in local harvest, and connect with the community over the arts, and more. Although the Main-Dempster area boundaries include parts of Dempster Street, Main Street, and Chicago Avenue, it attracts visitors from much further out. The Main-Dempster Mile of Evanston is thus the perfect place to spotlight a handful of locally owned businesses we love.

Union Pizza

Without a doubt, Union Pizzeria is a Main-Dempster Mile long-time staple. The space is unlike what most would initially expect of a pizza joint. It has all the trappings for a perfect date night, wood-fired oven, superb wine and cocktail list, PLUS a massive space (in the back) for shows, readings, private events, and more. Really, this is not just a great spot for a date but for the family, friends, and really any time you’re looking to get cozy and enjoy a delicious slice or 4. Dani, Fulton Grace’s Digitial Marketing Manager has often visited for Moth shows, specialty pies, and a stellar negroni.

Reprise Coffee Roasters

Fairly traded, sustainably sourced, and locally roasted, Reprise Coffee Roasters of Evanston is the go-to spot for award-winning coffees and teas in the mile. This modern cafe offers cozy workstations, a cafe bar, and lots of greenery to enjoy and vibe out. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot the coffee shop’s mascot, Lola.

Hoosier Mama

If you live in Chicago and you like pies, you already know about Hoosier Mama. Their long-time coveted West Town shop has expanded to Evanston. The artisan bakery and cafe specializing in all types of pies, both sweet and savory. Their house-made buttermilk biscuits and biscuit sandwiches are ideal for the savory over sweet connoisseurs. If you’re looking to dine in, there is a full seasonal menu to sift through or their drive-up window offers a full espresso, coffee, and tea selection provided by Dollop coffee. And of course, pies!

Stumble & Relish

This super unique and quaint gift shop is filled with artisan jewelry, stationery, seasonal trinkets, and decor. It’s the one-stop shop for gifts in Evanston. Opened in 2013 by a mother and daughter duo, whose sole purpose of opening the space was to share all the little things they stumbled on and savor. Sweet things to relish in pure happiness, gifts to give, and something to make you smile. Paulette, the mama of the duo, retired from the shop in 2019 but they still keep the same sentiment and work to carry lines she loves and uses.

The Wine Goddess

Evanston’s hot spot wine shop is much more than just a bodega with a vast variety of wines to choose from. This woman-owned small business is the baby of a well-studied wine enthusiast who has created menus for the likes of Japonais, Le Colonial, Le Passage, and Fox & Obel. At The Wine Goddess, you can stop in for a bottle for 1, or a case for entertaining during the holidays. Even better, they have a top-tier wine club that offers a curated selection of wines on a monthly basis plus the benefit of added discounts and promotions.


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