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Sweet Home Evanston

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Bill Gilmore sold his share of B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted in 1998, moved to Evanston, and started looking for a site there that would make a good club. It took longer than he anticipated to find one. "Evanston was dry until the mid-70s," Gilmore says. "There weren't any old bars to take over." In the meantime, among other gigs, he sold wine at Binny's Beverage Depot, learning more about what had been an avocation. Last summer he finally signed a lease on a Davis Street storefront--space Turin Bicycle had been using for a workshop--then spent a year renovating it and getting a liquor license. Last week he opened Bill's Blues, which he claims is the only blues club within a ten-mile radius and one of very few anywhere with a world-class wine list. Bill's offers live blues six nights a week, folk music on Sundays, and a sandwich menu. If the diverse, standing-room-only crowds on opening weekend were any indication, the smoky, brick-walled alley of a space should be hopping. Bill's Blues is at 1029 Davis in Evanston. It opens at 4 PM weekdays and 6 Saturday and Sunday evenings; the music starts at 8:30 except on Sundays, when it starts at 7. Admission is $5 or $10 weeknights (depending on the show), $10 or $15 Fridays and Saturdays, and $5 Sundays. Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers will play Friday, August 15; Son Seals is scheduled for Saturday, August 16. Call 847-401-0444.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photos/Gary Royal.

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