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Independent Spirits to Sell Fine Wine and Spirits on North Broadway

By Benjamin Woodard | February 7, 2013 7:53am

EDGEWATER — Fine wines and small-batch whiskey aren't the easiest things to sell on North Broadway.

But Scott Crestodina, owner of Independent Spirits, Inc., was able to convince the community and the alderman to lift a moratorium and temporarily adjust a building's zoning so he could sell high-end booze.

"Elevated quality doesn't mean everything is really expensive," Crestodina said inside the future home of his shop at 5947-49 N. Broadway.

He said wine would begin about $10 a bottle. All inventory would be curated from independent wineries and distilleries.

There would also be a small selection of rare beer that "you can't find elsewhere," he said.

The 38-year-old former fine wine broker said he had lived in an apartment across the street in the Bridgeview Bank building for four years before moving to Irving Park. The storefronts had made up much of the view from his window.

"This place feels like home to me," he said of Edgewater. "It's a great feeling to [take] what I've been learning over the past decade and use it here."

Crestodina said he plans to open sometime in the spring if all goes as planned. The vacant storefronts, separated by a wall he plans to knock down, still need to be built out, decorated and stocked.

A series of drawings created by Crestodina show what the space would look like when completed. Shelves of wine and liquor, maps of wine-making regions and books about fine wine and spirits line the walls.

Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) held a community meeting last summer where community members expressed unanimous support to lift a liquor moratorium for one year and allow for a zoning change so the packaged goods store could open shop.

The zoning change only affects the building, owned by David Rees, who agreed to immediately apply to have his building rezoned to its original status when the city grants Crestodina the necessary permits.

Osterman said no other packaged goods stores could open when the moratorium is lifted on North Broadway from Elmdale to Ardmore avenues because of zoning restrictions in the area.