Wilmette, Community

Heroines and Heroes to be continued in Evanston

After three years in downtown Wilmette, comic-book and hobby shop Heroines and Heroes is turning the page.

But you won’t need to go far to enjoy the next chapter.

Heroines and Heroes is moving to 2026 Central St. in Evanston, a larger storefront about 1 mile from its current location at 1129 Central in Wilmette. Owner Drew Beckmann hopes to open the new location in June.

Beckmann said the obvious reason for the change is the business needs more space, especially to accommodate its popular gaming nights.

“For us, it’s all positive,” Beckmann said of the new location. “It’s 3,600 square feet of retail space with a lot more possibilities. We’ll have the ability to meet the demand of our customers.

“We love Wilmette and are kind of sad to leave, but to stay here was to kind of be constrained and not realize our potential.”

Heroines and Heroes is moving to 2026 Central in Evanston.

Under Beckmann and Vern Wiley, former owner of Comix Gallery in Wilmette, Heroines and Heroes opened in 2021, selling a large collection of comic books, graphic novels, board games and miniatures.

In the back half of the store, Heroines and Heroes hosted game nights, for which the store would have to set up and break down each time. The new store is three times the size of the current space and allows Beckmann and company to develop a permanent gaming space complete with a snack bar that will also be available for private events.

The other major draw to the new location is Beckmann owns it.

Beckmann prefers owning and said he’s been looking for a local building to purchase for years. He looked all around Wilmette, and then 2022-2026 Central Ave. in Evanston — former home to the north branch of the Evanston Public Library and Lush restaurant — came on the market.

Heroines and Heroes will take the larger and former library space at 2026 Central, while Beckmann has already leased the smaller space to Celtic Knot, as reported by the Evanston RoundTable. Celtic Knot is a popular tavern that closed in April 2023 but is making a comeback.

Figurines from the game Marvel: Crisis Protocol on a table at Heroines and Heroes.

“We found a building we could purchase and own and that improves the financial situation dramatically,” Beckmann said. “We are renting in Wilmette and the plan was always to buy the building and that gives us control over what we’re doing.

“Now we can improve on what we did here and there. Because we own everything, we can make that long-term investment.”

Beckmann and company are currently building out the space in Evanston. Stay tuned to Heroines and Heroes Facebook page for updates and an opening date.

The Record is a nonprofit, nonpartisan community newsroom that relies on reader support to fuel its independent local journalism.

Subscribe to The Record to fund responsible news coverage for your community.

Already a subscriber? You can make a tax-deductible donation at any time.

joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

Related Stories