NORWOOD PARK — Plans to sell booze, wine and beer at the 7-Eleven in downtown Norwood Park are on hold after Ald. Mary O'Connor (41st) said she would oppose the convenience store's application for a packaged goods liquor license.
Charlene Brandt, community relations manager for 7-Eleven's Heartland Zone, said the company was reviewing its options for the store at 6200 N. Sayre Ave.
In a letter to Chicago Liquor Commissioner Greg Steadman, O'Connor wrote that she could not support the application to sell packaged liquor at the 7-Eleven because of the concerns voiced by neighbors at a community meeting held Nov. 20.
The store was one of several recently taken over by 7-Eleven's corporate offices from local franchisees.
Neighbors said they did not trust the store's employees to enforce the ban on alcohol sales to those younger than 21, especially during the evening and at night, O'Connor said.
Residents were also concerned about the store's frequent employee turnover, the inconvenient timing of deliveries and the poor upkeep of the store's exterior, O'Connor said.
Residents of the area surrounding the store at Sayre Avenue and Northwest Highway voted to allow liquor be sold there about 10 years ago in an effort to bring new life to downtown Norwood Park by attracting new restaurants, O'Connor said.
"At the time, they were assured that this change would not involve packaged good sales," O'Connor said.
In its application, 7-Eleven pledged to continue selling fruit and dairy, and to expand its prepared food menu to include pizza and wings.
The store planned to sell a selection of beer, wine and alcohol from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday, according to the application.
The store pledged to sell only large bottles, and no half-pints. In addition, malt alcohol would not have been sold as low-priced singles, according to the application.
Hard alcohol would have displayed behind the sales counter in a locked cabinet, and the beer coolers would have been locked. Employees, trained to properly identify those of legal drinking age, would be the only ones able to unlock the cabinets and coolers, according to the application.
There are 400 franchisee-owned 7-Eleven stores in the Chicago area, and 70 to 80 corporate-owned stores.