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Classic Avondale Liquor Store Reopens Wednesday as Crown Liquors Taproom

By Darryl Holliday | July 22, 2015 8:30am

AVONDALE — A bar and liquor store with a Prohibition-era history in the neighborhood will re-open this week on the border of Logan Square and Avondale.

The classic bar underwent an interior and exterior transition after it was sold last year to owners and operators of Rocking Horse, Dante’s Pizzeria and High Dive. But while the liquor store was relaunched in April, the long-awaited bar, now dubbed the Crown Liquors Taproom, 2821 N. Milwaukee Ave., will reopen its doors Wednesday, July 22.

[Crown Liquors Taproom]

Everything in the taproom will also be available to take home from the packaged goods store, and vice versa, according to an announcement for the bar — meaning discerning drinkers can test brews in the taproom before buying and taking home a six-pack of their new favorite beer at the end of the night.

The selection revolves around 24 rotating taps and 12 seasonal or small release beers served in 5-ounce pours and flights.

The Crown Liquors staff describes the new digs as a “clean and simple tavern where the focus remains on easy drinking.” Elements include dark wood and glassblock with seating for 50 and an outdoor patio that seats 48 more.

The original Crown Liquors was an “old fashioned Chicago-style taproom,” lifelong Logan Square resident Lourdes Arencibia said back in August 2014, shortly after she sold the 3,000-square-foot bar to Avondale resident Georg Simos and his business partner Alex Tsolakides.

The bar’s history stretches back decades and has remained essentially unchanged as a bar and liquor store “since the end of Prohibition," according to Arencibia, whose family owned the property for 11 years.

The Crown Liquors taproom has been under construction for most of 2015 but will reopen Wednesday, July 22. [DNAinfo/Darryl Holliday]

Staff at the new Crown Liquors describe the building as an anchor for the Logan Square/Avondale-area night scene as it sits on the northern boundary of the area’s popular Milwaukee Avenue strip, which has seen a slew of new restaurants and bars in recent years between Diversey and California avenues.

The lot was a highly sought-after piece of real estate among bar and restaurant owners hoping to enter the local market, according to Simos, but the Crown Liquors crew took the sale as “an opportunity to do something different."

One of those differences is “Hot Dice,” a game at the classic half bar, half liquor store ("slashie"?) where drinkers can roll the dice for their next drink — bottles are numbered and the roll determines the spirit used to make your next drink.

The taproom is open Monday­–Friday from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday from noon to 3 a.m. and Sunday from noon to 2 a.m. The store is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

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