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'High-End' Liquor Store Proposed for Downtown Norwood Park -- Again

By Heather Cherone | January 22, 2016 5:42am
 A community meeting about a proposal to open a
A community meeting about a proposal to open a "high-end" wine and liquor store in downtown Norwood Park is set for Wednesday.
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NORWOOD PARK — Ald. Anthony Napolitano (41st) is weighing a proposal to lift the ban on liquor stores in downtown Norwood Park.

Bill Assimakopoulos, the owner of The Vineyards in Lincolnwood which sells "high-end wine and spirits" near Touhy and Lincoln avenues, said he is looking to relocate his store to 6060 N. Northwest Highway after Binny's Beverage Depot announced plans to open up nearby.

"I like the area, it is a nice community," said Assimakopoulos, who graduated from Taft High School. "I think it is an up-and-coming area."

Napolitano will host a community meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Norwood Park, 5801 N. Natoma Ave., to give Assimakopoulos a chance to present his proposal to residents.

Another proposal to open a "high-end" liquor store in the same location fell apart last year after the owner balked at restrictions required by former Ald. Mary O'Connor (41st), including a limit on what hours it could be open and what types of liquor it could sell.

Chris Vittorio, Napolitano's chief of staff, said Assimakopoulos had seen those requirements and did not object.

"The store could be a good fit," Vittorio said.

Those restrictions could include a 10 p.m. closing time as well as 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.

Assimakopoulos said he planned to sell specialty European wines as well as "high-end" bourbon and whiskey as well as craft beer.

"We will cater to nice customers looking to pick up a nice bottle of wine or liquor after work," Assimakopoulos said. "And I don't want to stay open late."

There are no other liquor stores in downtown Norwood Park. O'Connor rejected an application from the 7-Eleven in Norwood Park to sell alcohol in 2014.

There is a ban on packaged goods liquor licenses in the strip mall, which was built in 2014.

The strip mall includes a recently opened cigar shop, an insurance office, a Subway sandwich shop and Mo Dailey's Pub and Grille, which serves beer, wine and spirits.

The packaged goods liquor license moratorium does not affect restaurant's ability to serve booze.

The moratorium on packaged goods liquor licenses has been in place along Northwest Highway between Raven Street and Neola Avenue since 2007, officials said.

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