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Goddess and Grocer Plans Move to Vacant Dairy Queen on Damen in Bucktown

By Alisa Hauser | March 26, 2013 10:54am
 Goddess and Grocer is planning to move into the long vacant two-story former Dairy Queen building at 1649 N. Damen Ave.
Goddess and Grocer is planning to move into the long vacant two-story former Dairy Queen building at 1649 N. Damen Ave.
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DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser

BUCKTOWN — The Goddess and Grocer is moving on up, to the east side — of Damen Avenue, that is.

The gourmet Bucktown grocer and deli has outgrown its space at 1646 N. Damen Ave and signed a lease on new quarters directly across the street at 1649 N. Damen Ave., a lawyer representing  Goddess and Grocer said Monday.

According to zoning attorney Sara Barnes, there will be a grocery and deli on the first floor of the building while the second floor can accommodate 50 patrons, who can use the space as a cafe.

A public notice went up March 15 requesting a special use permit to "establish outdoor seating located in front of the second floor of retail with accessory restaurant."

Vacant for three years, the 4,000-square-foot, two-story building —  which includes a patio on its second-level — was once home to a Dairy Queen and Orange Julius franchise, which shuttered in 2010.

New York-based Jenel Management Co. purchased the building for about $1.6 million in May, according to Crain's Chicago Business.

Goddess and Grocer, which operates four stores in the city including the Bucktown location, is owned by Debra Sharpe, who told Crain's that the grocer is "overflowing" in its current 1,600 square-foot location.

Prior to the purchase by Jenel Management,  the building almost had a new tenant in January 2012. However, Lincoln Park-based Cesar's Margaritas pulled out of Bucktown after a chilly reception from residents who voted against a special use permit request for a second-level patio after expressing concerns about rowdy patrons drinking.

While Cesar's Margaritas had intended to serve liquor on the patio, Paul Sajovec, a spokesman for Ald. Scott Waguespack's (32nd), said that from the language on the grocer's special use application, "it does not appear that they are applying for a separate liquor license at this time."

"That doesn't mean they can't apply in the future for one," said Sajovec.

Addressing past neighborhood concerns about the second-level patio, Barnes, who also represented Cesar's Margaritas at a series of community meetings, said, "Goddess and Grocer is well liked in this area. We're back and hoping this time it's a better fit for the neighborhood in light of what we learned the first time."

Though a special use permit would enable the outdoor patio to be open until 11 p.m., Barnes said that Goddess and Grocer plans to be open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday -Friday and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.