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Restaurant, Bar Proposed for Section of Devon Avenue Where Booze is Banned

 The storefronts at 1248-60 W. Devon Ave. have been covered with question marks for years.
The storefronts at 1248-60 W. Devon Ave. have been covered with question marks for years.
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DNAinfo/Benjamin Woodard

ROGERS PARK — Building owner Marcus Sulejmani, who owns Uptown's Reservoir and Hops and Barley in Portage Park, has proposed a bar and restaurant for a "dry" section of Devon Avenue, Ald. Joe Moore said Wednesday.

The 49th Ward alderman, in a newsletter to constituents, announced the plans and said a community meeting was set for next week to discuss what it would take legally to open the restaurant at 1248-60 W. Devon Ave.

Sulejmani, who didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, would have a steep hill to climb.

Moore said the precinct where the restaurant would be located was voted dry by residents in 1936 under state law. To remove the liquor ban, voters would either have to do so by majority vote at a referendum or collect a petition signed by two-thirds of registered voters.

Holding a referendum requires the signatures of 25 percent of the registered voters in the precinct.

According to the Chicago Board of Elections, the petition must be submitted within 90 days of an election. For the general election on Nov. 4, the deadline for filing a petition is Aug. 6.

The precinct includes a few blocks roughly bordered by Sheridan Road and Lakewood, Devon and Arthur avenues.

If the liquor ban is lifted, the City Council would have to vote to lift a second liquor moratorium approved under the watch of Ald. Pat O'Connor, when his 40th Ward included the block of Devon.

"If the applicants are successful at convincing the voters to support lifting the prohibition either through a referendum or petition, I would sponsor an ordinance lifting the moratorium on liquor sales for the portion of Devon Avenue that includes the proposed business," Moore said.

Then, finally, Sulejmani would need to obtain an "incidental" liquor license, which requires that no more than 50 percent of the business's revenue originate from alcohol sales.

The public meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday at St. Ignatius Church, 6559 N. Glenwood Ave., in the Canteen Room, which is on the east side of the building.

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