JEFFERSON PARK — Commuters getting off the CTA Blue Line at Jefferson Park will once again be able to grab a six-pack at the 7-Eleven next to the train station after the store regained its liquor license.
Operators of the convenience store, 4859 N. Milwaukee Ave., agreed to a half-dozen restrictions at the request of Ald. John Arena (45th) and police officials, to win their support for the store's application for a packaged goods liquor license.
The store in the Veterans Square shopping mall had a liquor license until seven months ago when 7-Eleven's corporate offices took over the store, which had been owned by a franchisee, said Charlene Brandt, community relations manager for 7-Eleven's Heartland Zone.
Because of the change in ownership, the company was forced to apply for a new liquor license, Brandt said.
However, the license was blocked by Arena and Jefferson Park Police District Commander James O'Donnell, who blamed the store for attracting crime and encouraging public drinking near the busy Jefferson Park Transit Center, which includes stops for several bus lines as well as a stop on Union Pacific Northwest Metra line.
Owen Brugh, chief of staff to Arena, said the agreement would help reduce public drinking around the terminal, which was a frequent complaint from travelers using the station.
"It is a solid agreement," Brugh said, adding that it has "teeth" to ensure the measures are enforced. "The alderman is very happy with it."
The restrictions include a ban on the sale of half-pints of liquor, single-serving containers of beer, wine and malt liquor as well as liquor for sale for less than $6.99. In addition, alcohol must be kept in a cooler with an automatic lock that prevents it from being opened when alcohol is not allowed to be sold.
While most liquor stores are allowed to sell booze from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m., the Jefferson Park 7-Eleven will be restricted to selling beer, wine and liquor from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturday.
The plan of operation for the Jefferson Park 7-Eleven is not out of the ordinary and will help the store be an asset to the community.
"We don't want to be a liquor store," Brandt said. "We want to be a true convenience for the community."