UPTOWN — An alderman is proposing morning liquor sales on Sundays in a bid to retain a supermarket in his ward.
Ald. Patrick O'Connor (40th) submitted a proposed ordinance this week that would allow package-liquor stores to begin sales at 8 a.m. Sunday, instead of the current 11 a.m.
O'Connor said he became aware of the issue in negotiations to find a replacement for the Dominick's at 5233 N. Lincoln Ave.
"It's a topic of discussion," O'Connor said Friday after attending a Chicago Transit Authority news conference at the Argyle Street station. "It's just an outgrowth of discussions I've had with the owners of grocery stores over the last several weeks."
The remnant of blue laws banning liquor sales on Sundays, the city's restriction doesn't allow liquor sales until 11 a.m. on Sunday. O'Connor said stores have expressed interest in extending the hours for legal sales, and it could be a tipping point for a new occupant of the closed Dominick's, a recently renovated supermarket that has yet to be snatched up by another chain like Jewel or Mariano's.
O'Connor said he had not yet encountered any resistance to extending the hours, but that he'd be open to amending the proposal to make it specific to stores of a certain size and not all stores licensed for package-liquor sales.
"You could make it a separate license," O'Connor added. "There are a number of ways to approach it."
As proposed, the ordinance would simply remove language that allows 8 a.m. Sunday liquor sales on Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve and instead make it applicable for all Sundays.