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Wine Shop in Wicker Park Strip Mall Shutters, Owner Blames High Rent

By Alisa Hauser | February 20, 2015 5:17am
 Evolution, a wine shop at 1704 N. Milwaukee Ave., has closed,
Evolution, a wine shop at 1704 N. Milwaukee Ave., has closed,
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DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser

WICKER PARK — A neighborhood wine shop — part of a small suburban chain that expanded to Wicker Park in October of 2011 — has closed its doors.

The owner of Evolution Wine and Spirits at 1704 N. Milwaukee Ave. said he couldn't afford the rent.

"The large rents that the neighborhood commands are difficult for an independent retailer to handle. That was a wonderful store, with great customers and awesome sales, but the landlord continues to raise rents in hopes of exiting smaller players," owner Brian Rosen said in a statement.

But the building's owner, Bill Senne, said that he had not raised the rent and Rosen left voluntarily after Senne launched eviction proceedings. He confirmed the space is for rent.

Senne indicated that an adjacent Subway in the same mall where the shop is located could be closing in the future due to the fact the franchisee is trying to sell the store.

A sign posted at the building at 1704 N. Milwaukee Ave. says that there is up to 3,000 square feet of retail space available for rent in the mall, which has four storefronts, including a U.S. Post Office box rental and a yoga studio.

Evolution Wine and Spirits has also closed its Lakeview spot at 3530 N. Lincoln Ave.

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