NORWOOD PARK — A proposal to lift the ban on liquor stores in downtown Norwood Park will move forward, according to a spokesman for Ald. Mary O'Connor (41st).
A plan to open a "high-end" wine and spirits shop in the newly built strip mall at 6060 N. Northwest Hwy., where there is a ban on packaged goods liquor licenses, got the green light from most of the residents who attended a community meeting held by O'Connor to gather input, said Nick Haak, an aide to the alderman.
However, most of the residents said they would only support the 3,500-square-foot store if it agreed to a list of restrictions on what hours it could be open and what type of alcohol it could sell, Haak said.
There are no other liquor stores in downtown Norwood Park.
Heather Cherone says the ward is looking to others for a model on how to change a liquor moratorium:
O'Connor is working with store owner Sam Fakouri as well as the city's Bureau of Alcohol and Consumer Protection to craft the agreement, which would be part of the store's liquor license, Haak said.
Those restrictions could 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.
Once the agreement is in place, another community meeting will be held in a few weeks to discuss the details with neighbors, Haak said.
Fakouri also owns a liquor store at 3106 N. Harlem Ave., which is known as the Cellar. It has not drawn any complaints, Haak said.
At the meeting, Fakouri said the store would resemble Trader Joe's or Costco stores, with merchandise stored on pallets on the sales floor, according to Haak.
Wine and cheese tastings would take place at the store on the weekend, Haak said.
The store would need a special-use permit from the city's Zoning Board of Appeals, in addition to a liquor license. Both typically need the support of the alderman.
The strip mall includes a Subway sandwich shop and Mo Dailey's Pub and Grille, which serves beer, wine and spirits.
The moratorium on packaged goods liquor licenses has been in place between Raven Street and Neola Avenue since 2007, Haak said.
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