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European-Style Coffee and Wine Bar to Open in Jarvis Square

ROGERS PARK — A new cafe called Towbar, akin to a European coffee and wine bar, should open within two weeks in Jarvis Square, its owners said.

Debbie and Jamie Evans and business partner Sandra Carter, who also own Taste Food and Wine two storefronts away, said Thursday afternoon they were working to wrap up a few more details to pass a city health inspection and open in about 10 days.

The Evans family is no stranger to the food-and-drink industry.

Eight years ago, they opened the Celtic Knot in Evanston, which has since been sold. And they now plan to open a microbrewery, called the Peckish Pig, in October on the Evanston side of Howard Street.

"All of our places are warm and welcoming," said Debbie Evans, inside the soon-to-open Towbar at 1506 N. Jarvis Ave.

Evans, who moved to Chicago from England, said she and the building's owner, Dan Sullivan, are doing their best to make Jarvis Square a "trendy area."

Towbar replaces Sullivan's Charmers Cafe, which closed in March.

The new cafe was named after Debbie Evans' father, Tony "Towbar" Mussell, an English handyman with a thick accent and a short, tight ponytail.

Back home in Liverpool, his friends called him "Towbar," said Mussell, 73.

"They'd say, 'Tony, let's go to the bar,'" which was abbreviated to "towbar," he said.

Debbie Evans said they plan to apply for a liquor license to eventually serve wine.

The menu includes "Bits and Bobs," like smoked-bacon popcorn and an assortment of fine cheeses served on a wood platter.

Butties — an English term for sandwiches — include a $10 toasted brie and ham sandwich, topped with caramelized apples.

Evans said coffee and pastries would be served early for the morning commute.