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      1245 Chicago Avenue
      Evanston, IL 60202

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      Craig Golden, principal of Sterling Bay Companies and partner in the Lakeshore Theater, Stuart Rosenberg, veteran music producer and radio personality, ... read more
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      Craig Golden, principal of Sterling Bay Companies and partner in the Lakeshore Theater, Stuart Rosenberg, veteran music producer and radio personality, and prominent Chicago musician Dave Specter, in collaboration with Steven Schwartz, of Evanston’s popular Campagnola restaurant, announce the opening of a unique and trailblazing venue at 1245 Chicago Avenue in Evanston. The 10,000 square foot restaurant and live music venue will include Union Pizzeria, an urban and spacious 65-seat dining room, comfortable vintage sofa lounge, and U-shaped 20 seat bar with a menu featuring small shared-plate dining, a daily special plate and wood-fired pizzas; the Society for the Preservation of Arts and Culture in Evanston (the S.P.A.C.E), a unique, fully-equipped audio-visual and music venue and function space; and the League of Creative Musicians, an exclusive creative gathering space for musicians that includes a recording studio and rehearsal space featuring state-of-the art equipment and amenities for members. Union Pizzeria opened on Tuesday, February 12 with the S.P.A.C.E hosting its first events in March. The restaurant was designed by T. Clifton Design.

      A fully-domed wood-burning brick oven, hand-built by Vermont craftsman Peter Moore, is the centerpiece of Union Pizzeria, an eclectic urban restaurant with a full bar that seats 20 guests. Heather Behm, Manager of Operations at Campagnola and Union Pizzeria, has assembled a diverse beer list with both domestic and imported brews, several popular American microbrews and a varied selection of Belgians. She has also put together an impressive international wine list that boasts 50 value wines under $50. With a décor featuring the original brick walls and terrazzo flooring of the nearly 100-year-old building and an exposed loft-like beam ceiling, this new hot spot will serve the hip and comfortable cuisine of Campagnola’s talented veteran chef Vince DiBattista.

      “Neo-Neopolitan” pizzas baked in the wood-burning brick oven will highlight the menu. Plate-of-the-Day specials include Lasagna Bolognese, a delicate Semolina Gnocchi alla Romana, Whole Fish roasted in the wood-burning brick oven and Duck Ragu with creamy Polenta. Hot small plate dishes include Pork and Veal Meatballs with Tomato and Orange Zest jam and the 1940’s Chicago-based Shrimp De Jonghe, while cold plate selections include Eggplant Caponata, Calamari Salad and Fresh Buffalo Mozzarella with Sicilian sea salt, olive oil and Crostini. The menu also features sandwiches, salads and soup. As at Campagnola, using local farmers and organic products whenever possible continues to be a priority for Chef DiBattista.

      The S.P.A.C.E provides a flexible creative canvas for the community. Serving as an ideal venue for visual arts, dance, music, and literary events, the versatile 3,000 square foot area also serves as a perfect location for social gatherings and celebrations. The rustic urban décor is highlighted by the wood floor, made from the original timbers of an East Coast barn. With collapsible tables and chairs and portable staging and technologically advanced video and audio recording equipment, the S.P.A.C.E is versatile as well as stylish. By combining flexibility with functionality, it’s a venue that could easily be used for hosting a business meeting by day and showcasing an up-and-coming local band by night, and will certainly become a favorite place for celebrations of all kinds.

      “We’re creating a space where our community can come together to explore and experience creativity,” Rosenberg said. “We see a need for a common ground for visual artists, writers, musicians, dancers, theater artists and all those who care about these arts. We’re making a place where we all can gather together to celebrate the expressiveness of the human spirit.”

      The League of Creative Musicians is a membership club offering an extraordinary setting to pursue the passion for music. Rosenberg and Golden will be joined by prominent Chicago musician, recording artist and producer Dave Specter, whose guitar talents are featured on over 30 albums including collaborations with B.B. King, Eric Clapton, and Carlos Santana, among others. A comfortable and convivial setting, the lounge-like area features a state-of-the-art control room that blends the finest modern recording equipment with classic vintage technology for a powerful and flexible tech environment. Described by the partners as a “country club for music instead of sports,” members can combine the virtues of musical creativity with the social pleasures of collaboration and the camaraderie of good-natured fellowship.

      The beautifully furnished and fully equipped multi-room studio complex offers an exquisite acoustic design, in addition to food and beverage service in the members-only lounge and an exclusive smoking room. Members can record their compositions, write songs, participate in master classes and seminars with legendary musicians, or play the clubs exquisite collection of vintage instruments. They will also have priority in booking the S.P.A.C.E for their own performances and social celebrations, receive premium seating at all concert events in the S.P.A.C.E, and enjoy special club privileges in Union Pizzeria. The League offers all musicians, professional and amateur, an opportunity to pursue their passion or simply to “come out and play.”

      “There is a unique synergy between these three spaces under one roof,” Rosenberg added. “And there is definitely chemistry between this space and this community.”

      The venue’s versatility is sure to make it a magnet for the region’s most coveted local concerts, parties, meetings and events, and a haven for local musicians. Membership for the League is limited and still available by e-mailing or calling 847.492.8190. For more information on any of the three spaces at the venue, call 847.492.8190 or e-mail

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