M & R Development and Dodge Capital have announced they leased 3,500 square feet of retail space at Central Station, a mixed-use luxury apartment building located at 1720 Central St. in Evanston. The space was leased to MDCC, LLC for a 120-seat restaurant. Opening this fall, The Wood Shed restaurant will feature a wood-fired pizza oven and smoker, serving American fare and smoked meats.
“Evanston has always been a destination for diners because of the variety of options, and we’re excited to join the vibrant community. We saw the space at Central Station as a terrific opportunity to be a part of this growing restaurant scene,” said Robert LaPata, co-owner of The Wood Shed.
Robert Horne, principal with Dodge Capital and co-developer of Central Station, agrees this is an ideal location for a restaurant.
“Not only will The Wood Shed have a built-in customer base in the residents of the 80-unit Central Station, but the surrounding area is also highly residential,” Horne noted. “There is a diverse mix of families, retirees, and professionals. Plus, the location is only one block from the Central Street metra station and is part of the bustling Central Street retail corridor, offering plenty of foot-traffic, too.”
The Wood Shed will also have approximately 50 outdoor seats, available seasonally.
The restaurant is a joint venture between restaurateurs Robert Lapata, Joe Krouse and Frederic Gale. Evanston resident Robert Lapata is the founder and principal at Forefront Hospitality - a restaurant consulting, hospitality and management firm located in Chicago. Robert’s a 23-year veteran of the hospitality industry and has worked with some of the most respected leaders in the industry, including Hilton Hotels, Omni Hotels, Hyatt Hotels and Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. The Wood Shed is the latest restaurant venture for North Shore native Joe Krouse, owner of the popular neighborhood restaurant Unite Urban Grill. Located in Chicago’s West Town, Unite is celebrated by locals for its seasonally-inspired comfort fare and progressive beverage program. Frederic Gale resides in Evanston and is a partner in several restaurants on the East Coast. One of the most memorable moments from his career in the hospitality industry is making pizzas with Gino’s East in the early 1980s.
Ben Andrews of Sperry Van Ness brokered the deal for LaPata, Krouse and Gale, while agents with Mid-America Real Estate Group represented M & R Development and Dodge Capital.
Located at 1720 Central Street, Central Station includes 80 apartments, 81 parking spaces and more than 10,700 square feet of street-level retail. Residences range from convertible studios to three-bedroom plans, and measure 590 to 1,485 square feet. Rents currently start at $1,415 a month. The property was developed and is owned by Dodge Capital and M & R Development, and opened in the fall of 2013. The residences are more than 75 percent leased. Central Station is managed by RMK Management Corp.