Two Downtown Evanston Eateries Close

Tiny Dog CUPCAKE! and Merle's BBQ both closed after the New Year.

There are now fewer places to find cupcakes and smoked meats in Evanston. As of Jan. 1, both Merle's BBQ and Tiny Dog CUPCAKE! have closed up shop.

A note posted on the Merle's website noted that the business lost its lease on Jan. 1.

"We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. We will miss you very much but wish you all a great 2012," the site reads.

"We will be happy to serve you at Davis Street Fishmarket, 501 Davis Street."

Merle's faced negative publicity in February after the city blamed it for an illness outbreak at Haven parent/teacher conferences. Thirty people became sick from chicken that was served "buffet style" at the school, and the

A spokesman for the restaurant later said that the city blamed Merle's without solid evidence.

"We’re trying to clear up our reputation and we’re trying to let people know that the city screwed up," the spokesman

Tiny Dog, on Davis Street, was a small cupcake shop that only lasted a little over a year.

The shop and served cupcakes and drinks, later expanding to ice cream and brunch items.

A voicemail left for was not returned at press time. The listed phone number for led to an answering machine that has not been updated since it closed, as it still included information about making reservations at the restaurant.

While the two places are now closed, there has been a small boom in new restaurants in downtown. Austin's Tacos is now open just up the street from Tiny Dog, and a few blocks away are an Asian sandwich shop, Soulwich, and a new Asian take-out spot, Bento Express.


Share your memories of Tiny Dog and Merle's with other Evanstonians on our Facebook page.

Jessica Rudis January 12, 2012 at 01:24 AM
Carmen's is in the process of reopening. They recently got a liquor license and they have a sign up. It's not on Church St. anymore though, it's on Chicago Ave. right down the street from Union. We'll put a notice up when it reopens!
lucas January 12, 2012 at 01:38 AM
Richard Talk a walk down Howard Custer to Ridge lots of empty stores a numer of them Owned by the City. Surpised Patch hasn't put that online
Richard Schulte January 12, 2012 at 02:37 AM
"Talk a walk down Howard Custer to Ridge lots of empty stores a numer of them Owned by the City. Surpised Patch hasn't put that online" Stanley, I've been thinking about your comment above for the last half hour or so. I've lived in Evanston for 29 years-it's depressing to think about. I remember auto row on Chicago Avenue, the Toys R Us in the shopping center at Dempster and Dodge and Marshal Field downtown. And now, I'm planning on leaving Evanston for Florida because of the poor business climate here. I'm sure I'll miss Evanston.
Clif Brown January 12, 2012 at 11:41 PM
I walked by the site of the long closed Cafe Luciano's on Green Bay Road next to MotoFoto today (Jan 12) and saw work going on. I asked the workers what was going to open there and they said it would be a restaurant.
lucas January 21, 2012 at 03:48 AM
Enjoy Florida. Today would have been a good one their.


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