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Edgewater Brewpub Owned by Local Couple Gets Aldermanic Support

By Linze Rice | August 11, 2015 6:04am | Updated on August 11, 2015 11:20am
 The corner of Devon and Magnolia, part of the 48th Ward, that could be next to a brewpub and taproom if the city lifts a 20-year liquor ban.
The corner of Devon and Magnolia, part of the 48th Ward, that could be next to a brewpub and taproom if the city lifts a 20-year liquor ban.
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DNAinfo/Linze Rice

EDGEWATER — A family owned brewpub is making headway in the process that requires a liquor moratorium be lifted on Devon Avenue, garnering the support of all three Far North Side aldermen whose ward boundaries would be affected by the change.

In an email to residents, Ald. Harry Osterman (48th), Ald. Joe Moore (49th) and Ald. Patrick O'Connor (40th) announced after hearing "overwhelmingly" positive feedback at a community meeting that they stand behind owners Alex Drayer and Brittany Groot, as well as developer Scott Whalen, in building the brewery and taproom.

"This small brewpub will contribute greatly to the commercial revitalization that Devon is currently enjoying," Moore wrote.

Whalen agreed, saying he felt the duo's plans were a "step in the right direction" for the northern Edgewater neighborhood.

Developer Scott Whalen shows a full house some plans for the proposed brewpub at 1221 W. Devon Ave., with owner Alex Drayer in the background. [DNAinfo/Linze Rice]

Despite some concerns, like parking, the building's close proximity to Loyola University and the potential for less desirable businesses to open and apply for liquor licenses while the ban is lifted, Osterman said he felt confident the brewpub would be a "good addition to the community."

Osterman said the City Council's Committee on License and Consumer Protection would take up the lifting of the alcohol sales moratorium at its Sept. 10 hearing.

Linze Rice says the moratorium would be lifted for an entire year:

If aldermen approve, the moratorium would be lifted for one year before being reinstated — at which point the aldermen said they would adopt a more "surgical" approach by re-imposing the ban in two-block increments.

Whalen said during a recent meeting he was waiting to get the green light on permits from the city to begin development at the 1221-23 W. Devon site, where he plans to build two stories of luxury residential units above the brewery.

If all goes as planned, the couple hopes to open in the first few months of 2016 with a roughly 52-person taproom that offers four beers brewed in-house.

For Osterman, the development is one of two that requires lifting of the alcohol moratorium. At the same September meeting, aldermen also will hear plans for Income Tax wine bar at 5959 N. Broadway, owned by another married couple, he said.

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