Click here for Information


    What's going on in the district? See below! CLICK HERE to see monthly and weekly recurring events.

    Small Business Saturday

    November 25, 2017


    If you'd like to shop small for the holidays, come to the Main-Dempster Mile, where there are over 100 independently owned shops within a half mile!

    The Saturday after Thanksgiving--known nationally as Small Business Saturday--evolved in response to the mob scenes at shopping malls on "Black Friday." It's intended to remind people that shopping small and shopping local is the civilized--and usually much more fun--alternative to getting trampled in a chain store or clicking on some monster-retailer's website "deals." It also keeps your holiday dollars in your local community.


    Come shop the Mile, get to know your neighbors and get your holiday shopping done early.

    Amanecer Taco Shop


    November 25, 2017


    Amanecer Taco Shop

    512 Main Street

    Morning Special, 8am–10am

    Small Business Saturday Breakfast Kick-off


    Kick-off your shopping spree with hot & fresh breakfast tacos! Stop by between 8–10am to receive a free cup of coffee or Mexican hot chocolate with the purchase of a breakfast taco (while supplies last).


    Grand Opening Celebration, 11am–1pm

    Celebrate our grand opening!


    · 11am–12pm = Buy 1, Get 1 Free Taco Special

    · Buñuelitos for everyone in line!

    · Sign up for our email list for a chance to win an AMIGO TACO PACK.

    · Raffle for t-shirts

    An Afternoon of Christmas Music at the Chicago-Main Newsstand

    November 25, 2017


    Chicago-Main Newsstand

    860 Chicago Ave

    Enjoy an afternoon of Christmas music performed live by theatre organist Jay Warren on the Mighty Wurlitzer digital pipe organ!


    Jay's Christmas CD album "Organ & Chimes" will be available for purchase.

    Hip Circle

    Pop-Up Shop

    November 25th, 2017


    Hip Circle Empowerment Center

    709 Washington Street

    Pop into Hip Circle on SATURDAY, November 25th, from 10 am – 6 pm and visit our Pop-up Shop featuring women makers and vendors! Our full vendor list will be available as of 11/20 so stay tuned as we reveal your shopping options! Our Women Powered Retail Zone will be open as well – so many options!

    Photos With Santa at Follow Your Nose /

    The Alchemist's Wife

    November 25, 2017

    and Every Saturday until Christmas


    Follow Your Nose / The Alchemists' Wife

    917 Chicago Ave

    Santa Claus will be at Follow Your Nose / The Alchemist's Wife on Small Business Saturday (and every Saturday during the holidays) from 11am-3pm taking free photos! Kids and pets welcome!


    Enough said.

    Taco Tuesday ... For a Cause

    November 28, 2017

    La Principal

    700 Main Street

    Join us the last Tuesday of the month for another installment of our "Taco Tuesday...for a cause". Come out and show your support for a new cause each month, and we will donate $1 for every taco sold, to this worthy cause. Dine-in, takeout, and delivery. Check https://www.facebook.com/PrincipalOnMain/ to find out this month's cause.



    Winter Trunk Shows at Evanston Eye Wellness

    November 28, 2017



    December 7, 2017


    Evanston Eye Wellness provides eye care that's local, and Dr. Labrosse doesn't stop there. At each of these winter trunk shows, you can browse stylish new frames, get your fill of refreshments, get free single vision lenses with the purchase of the featured frames AND trade in old frames for store credit! Your old frames will be donated to charity.


    We love eye care that's local.


    75% off Gelato Products at FRiO Gelato

    November 30, 2017

    While Supplies Last

    FRiO Gelato

    517 Dempster Ave

    FRiO Gelato will close down for the season on November, so everything must go! You get 75% off all Gelato that day!


    And even cooler -- when FRiO reopens in January, it will be at a new, larger space right down the street at 1301 Chicago Avenue, with an expanded menu, including crepes and croissants!


    Watch this page for a Grand Re-opening date, but in the meantime, don't miss out on your 75% off.

    LumenKids' Holiday ILUMENation Fundraiser

    November 30, 2017


    Little Light Bazaar

    928 Chicago Ave

    Join us for a dazzling evening inside the Little Light Bazaar in Evanston for an event dedicated to celebrating the amazing programs LumenKids is hosting now and into the future. Come be a part of our community celebration and raise a glass to more experiential education opportunities existing for our youth! Ticket price includes beer/wine, appetizers and one raffle ticket for our AMAZING prizes. Raffle tickets will be on sale at the event and your donations are most welcome!

    Divine Creative Synergy Holiday Weekend!

    December 2-3, 2017

    Divine Creative Synergy

    707 Chicago Ave

    Enjoy holiday activities at one of the Mile's newest, coolest businesses. Both events are free!


    December 2nd

    Holiday Storytelling for Children!



    December 3rd

    "Holiday Cheer" Aromatherapy Workshop


    Studio Mangiameli Dance Studio


    December 2, 2017


    Studio Mangiameli

    614 Dempster Street

    Join us to celebrate the reopening of Studio Mangiameli in its new Evanston location!

    Enjoy raffle prizes, sangria, yummy food, and free sample classes!


    4:30PM Free Flamenco Kids class

    5PM Free Intro to Tap class

    5:30PM Free Flamenco adult class

    6PM to 9PM sangria, food, music and raffle

    3rd Annual Benefit &

    Silent Auction

    December 2, 2017


    Perspective Gallery

    1310 1/2-B Chicago Ave

    Everyone is invited to the gallery on Chicago Avenue in Evanston to join the celebration. There will be a wide array of silent auction items featuring work by more than 20 fine art photographers, including Pamela Bannos, Barbara Diener, Joseph D. Jachna, Mary Farmilant, David Schalliol, Jamie Tuttle, and Perspective Gallery members. Gift certificates for photography lessons will also be among the auction items.

    This is a great opportunity to acquire exceptional works of art while supporting Perspective Gallery and its mission. Winning bidders will be able take their acquisitions home with them at the close of the event. The event is free and open to the public. Appetizers, wine and refreshments will be served.

    Holiday Trims & Tidings Classes

    December 2, 2017



    December 3, 2017



    December 12, 2017



    Four Finches Flowers & Gifts

    1320 Sherman Ave, Studio 105

    Registration Open Now!


    This 90-minute class includes Holiday Flower Fashion Show, hands-on project with take home floral arrangement, and light refreshments. Tools, supplies and product provided.

    $95 per person. Class sizes very limited. Register by calling 847-328-4836 or visit the shop.



    First Saturday:

    High Tea and Live Music at YoFresh!

    December 2, 2017


    YoFresh Evanston

    635 Chicago Ave

    An afternoon leisurely gathering of friends enjoying a lite buffet of finger sandwiches, pastries and teas. First Saturday of each month.

    Shopping Event to Benefit The Musical Offering!

    December 6, 2017


    Ten Thousand Villages

    719 Main Street

    Join us at Ten Thousand Villages, 719 Main St. for some live chamber music played by Musical Offering students, and help support the school by purchasing anything in the store!


    It's a win-win-win as 15% of all profits that evening will be donated to The Musical Offering. And you'll be support in another Evanston non-profit business and making a dent in your holiday shopping! See you there!


    MBG Products


    December 7, 2017

    MBG Products

    1043 Chicago Ave

    We are a local company with a global spirit. We seek to create opportunities for everyone to discover the culture and traditions of Mexico.


    In this way, our mission is to enrich the lives of our customers through the experience of the colors, aromas and flavors of quality imported food products.


    Because we firmly believe that life is more pleasant and fulfilling when we accumulate the greatest amount of enjoyable experiences, we want to contribute by offering new options.


    We are committed to bringing only the most distinguished products from Mexico. We put special care in the freshness and quality as main factors to select our articles.

    Evanston Warm Bevvy Walk 2017

    December 7, 2017


    Enjoy an evening stroll with friends and family, stopping at stores to try tasty beverages and shop for the holidays. Throughout the evening, many of the shops will be offering special discounts and promotions to Warm Bevvy Walkers.


    This event is FREE and open to all ages. If you intend to drink alcoholic beverages, you are required to present an ID to get a wristband. 


    We are excited for all of the participating businesses this year. View the list below and don't forget to first stop at one of the check-in locations (TBD) to pick up a map and a wristband for the Warm Bevvy Walk!

    Virag Jewelers

    Annual Holiday

    Trunk Show

    December 7, 2017


    Virag Jewelers

    703 Main Street

    Stop by for one-night-only discounts on designer fashion jewelry at our annual Trunk Show!

    • Shop the latest collection from UNO de 50, Freida Rothman and Zina Sterling
    • Meet our local designers & metalsmiths. It's a fantastic opportunity not only to support local artists, but also to see their full line of gorgeous handcrafted jewelry and learn more about their design process and inspiration
    • Shop from our selection of in-stock diamond and gemstone jewelry

    Get your holiday shopping done early — we have great gift ideas for any budget!

    We will be serving complimentary hors d’oeuvres and beverages, including a selection of wine and beer. We hope to see you there!

    Wish List Saturday at See Jane Sparkle

    December 9, 2017

    All day!

    See Jane Sparkle

    1312 Chicago Ave

    On this special day, Starlets are welcome to come in to fill out a wish list, and SJS will share it with their signification other.


    Even better, if your significant other purchases off your wish list? SJS will gift wrap and deliver locally!

    Second Saturday Brewery Tours

    December 9, 2017


    Sketchbook Brewery

    821 Chicago Ave

    Learn about brewing from one of our head brewers, while enjoying samples of three beers. Hear more about Sketchbook’s commitment to sustainability, and our community-supported brewery model. Questions welcome!

    The $10 fee (pay at the taproom or online) includes an up-close-and-friendly one-hour tour at Sketchbook’s small production brewery, free samples, a 12-oz. Belgian glass to take home, and one FREE full pour in the taproom.

    All tour participants must be 21+; everyone will be carded before the tour. Limited tickets available. Please enter through the taproom.


    CLICK HERE to reserve tickets

    Get your Picture

    Taken with the Elf on the Shelf!

    December 10, 2017


    Threads Boutique

    1304 Chicago Ave

    The Elf on the Shelf is making a visit to the Main-Dempster Mile, and you can take your picture with the Elf Himself!


    We invite you to bring props and create a crazy scene for your kids and the elf to create for your photos. How much mischief can you and the elf get into? It's up to you!

    YoFresh Evanston: Holiday Singalong with Pianist Charles Taylor

    December 10, 2017


    YoFresh Evanston

    635 Chicago Ave

    Sit in front of the fireplace at YoFresh, play board games, enjoy a book from their community library or join in the holiday singing with pianist Charles Taylor!

    The Guitar Works Ltd

    Annual Holiday Concert & Food Drive

    December 13, 2017


    The Guitar Works Ltd

    709 Main Street

    That's right-- our annual Holiday Concert & Food Drive is coming up on Wednesday, December 14th, at 7:00. There is no charge to come to the show but we will be collecting non-perishable food items to donate to Connections for the Homeless
    in Evanston.

    Items with protein (tuna, peanut butter, beef stew, chicken noodle soup, beans)are most needed. Pop top cans are best - items that do not require a can opener.

    AND-- When you give, you get!
    All donations will be rewarded with a prize from our SWAG BAG!
    Featuring fabulous items generously donated by:
    GHS Strings, Gretsch, Seagull, Fender, Levy's Leathers, D'addario, Taylor Guitars, and Martin Guitars.

    So, come on out for a great cause!

    Fundraiser Friday: Happy Hour for a Cause

    December 15, 2017


    See Jane Sparkle

    1312 Chicago Ave

    Here's the link to check it out and shop at your leisure but don't miss the party at the end of the month.


    Recurring Events Calendar

  • 2017 district-wide events!

    Keep watching for details

    Spooky Saturday on the Mile

    October 28, 2017

    Small Business Saturday

    November 25, 2017

  • Social Feed

    Check out our latest updates from Twitter and Instagram! Visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MainDempsterMile.

  • Upcoming PUBLIC meetings

    Governance-Audit Committee Meeting - CANCELED

    Subcommittee Meeting

    Mon. 11/13/2017 3:00pm @ CoLab (900 Chicago Avenue)

    Marketing Committee Meeting - CANCELED

    Subcommittee Meeting

    Tues. 11/21/2017 9:00am @ La Principal, 700 Main St (coffee window entrance)

    Placemaking Committee

    Subcommittee Meeting

    Mon. 11/27/17 4:00pm @Sketchbook Brewery (821 Chicago Ave)

    Board of Directors Meeting

    Mon. 12/4/2017 10:30am @ La Principal, 700 Chicago Avenue (coffee window entrance)

  • Board Meetings

    The SSA board meets on the first Monday of each month at Hip Circle Studio (709 Washington Street)

  • Committees


    Meets 2nd Monday of the month at CoLab; 3:00-4:30pm unless otherwise noted

    Don't see the minutes you're looking for? Check the archive (coming soon).

    • 1/9/17 3:00pm @CoLab (900 Chicago Avenue, Suite 104) (Agenda)(Packet)(Minutes) 
    • 2/27/17 3:00pm @CoLab (900 Chicago Avenue, Suite 104)(Agenda & Packet)(Minutes) 
    • 3/27/17 3:00pm @CoLab (900 Chicago Ave, Ste 104) Special Meeting (Minutes
    • 4/10/17 3:00pm @CoLab (900 Chicago Avenue, Suite 104)(Agenda & Packet)(Minutes
    • 5/8/17 3:00pm @CoLab (900 Chicago Ave, Suite 104)(Agenda & Packet)(Minutes) 
    • 6/12/17 3:00pm @CoLab (900 Chicago Ave, Suite 104) (Agenda & Packet)(Minutes
    • 7/17/17 3:00pm @CoLab (900 Chicago Ave, Suite 104) (Agenda & Packet)(Minutes)
    • 8/28/17 3:00pm @CoLab (900 Chicago Ave, Suite 104) (Agenda & Packet)(Minutes)
    • 9/11/17 3:00pm @CoLab (900 Chicago Ave, Suite 104)(Agenda & Packet)(Minutes)
    • 10/9/17 3:00pm @CoLab (900 Chicago Ave, Suite 104) - CANCELED
    • 11/13/17 3:00pm @CoLab (900 Chicago Ave, Suite 104) - CANCELED
    • 12/11/17 3:00pm @CoLab (900 Chicago Ave, Suite 104)(Agenda & Packet)(Minutes)



    Meeting times and locations vary. See below for details

    Don't see the minutes you're looking for? Check the archive (coming soon).

    • 1/16/17 2:30pm @Sketchbook Brewery (821 Chicago Ave) (Agenda)(Packet)(Minutes) 
    • 2/13/17 3:45pm @Sketchbook Brewery (821 Chicago Ave)(Agenda)(Packet)(Minutes)
    • 3/20/17 3:45 @Cultivate (704 Main St)(Agenda & Packet)(Minutes)
    • 4/17/17 2:30pm @Protex (603 Dempster Street) (Agenda & Packet)(Minutes)
    • 5/15/17 4:00pm @Sketchbook Brewery (821 Chicago Ave)(Agenda & Packet)(Minutes)
    • 6/19/17 4:00pm @Sketchbook Brewery (821 Chicago Ave) (Agenda & Packet) (Minutes)
    • 7/24/17 4:00pm @Sketchbook Brewery (821 Chicago Ave) (Agenda & Packet) (Minutes)
    • 8/14/17 4:00pm @Sketchbook Brewery (821 Chicago Ave) (Agenda & Packet) (Minutes)
    • 9/18/17 4:00pm @Sketchbook Brewing (821 Chicago Ave)(Agenda & Packet
    • 10/23/17 4:00pm @Sketchbook Brewing (821 Chicago Ave)(Agenda & Packet
    • 11/27/17 4:00pm @Sketchbook Brewing (821 Chicago Ave)(Agenda & Packet) 

    Marketing & Events

    Meets 3rd Tuesday of the month, 9-10:30am, See below for details.

    Don't see the minutes you're looking for? Check the archive (coming soon).

    • 1/17/2017 9:00am @ Collage Cafe (912 Sherman Ave)(Agenda)(Packet)(Minutes
    • 2/15/2017 9:00am @Collage Cafe (912 Sherman Ave)(Agenda)(Packet)(Minutes
    • 3/21/2017 9:00am @Collage Cafe (912 Sherman Ave)(Agenda)(Minutes
    • 4/18/2017 9:00am @La Principal (700 Main Street)(Agenda & Packet)(Minutes)
    • 5/16/2017 9:00am @La Principal (700 Main Street)(Agenda & Packet)(Minutes) 
    • 6/20/17 9:00am @La Principal (700 Main St) (Agenda & Packet) (Minutes)
    • 7/25/17 9:00am @La Principal (700 Main St) (Agenda & Packet) (Minutes)
    • 8/15/17 9:00am @Cultivate (704 Main St) (Agenda & Packet) (Minutes)
    • 9/19/17 9:00am @The Main 2nd floor Lounge/Terrace (847 Chicago Ave (Agenda & Packet)(Minutes) 
    • 10/17/17 9:00am La Principal, 700 Main St (Agenda & Packet)(Minutes) 
    • 11/21/17 Location TBA (Agenda & Packet)(Minutes) - CANCELED
    • 12/19/17 Location TBA (Agenda & Packet)(Minutes) 


  • SSA Board Members

    If you would like to apply to serve on the Main-Dempster Mile Board of Directors, CLICK HERE. Eligibility requirements: Serve on a committee, attend three committee meetings and one Board of Directors meeting.


    Malik Turley

    Board President

    Hip Circle Studio


    term expires: 2017

    Jessica Oldani

    Vice President

    Oldani Entrepreneurial Law, P.C.


    term expires: 2017

    Eric Young


    Lucky Platter & La Principal


    term expires: 2018

    Jaime Leonardi


    Stumble & Relish


    term expires: 2018

    Alice George

    Placemaking Committee Chair

    Sketchbook Brewing Co.


    term expires: 2018

    Sara Jane Abbott

    See Jane Sparkle


    term expires: 2017

    Resident Seat



    term expires: 2017

    Property Owner



    term expires: 2019

  • About


    Katherine Gotsick, Executive Director


    773-960-8490 (M)


    In 2014, over 60 small businesses located in Southeast Evanston signed a petition in support of investigating the creation of a Special Service Area for the commercial districts that currently make up the Chicago/Dempster business district and the Main Street business district. A Special Service Area (SSA) is defined by Illinois State Statute as a contiguous area within a municipality or county in which special services are provided in addition to those services provided generally throughout the municipality or county. Special services include things like landscaping, advertising, public art, and extra garbage collections. The special services are paid from revenues collected from taxes levied or imposed upon property within that area.

    A steering committee made up of area business and property owners worked with consultant to hold a series of 3 public meetings to seek feedback from the community about the proposal. Based on the feedback by residents, businesses, and property owners, a proposed budget and tax cap were developed and presented to the Evanston City Council. The City Council adopted the ordinances establishing the SSA during the summer of 2015.


    Click on the map for a more detailed view of SSA boundaries.