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'High-End' Liquor Store in Downtown Norwood Park To Move Forward: Alderman

By Heather Cherone | January 29, 2016 5:55am
 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 — A proposal to lift the ban on liquor stores in downtown Norwood Park will move forward, Ald. Anthony Napolitano (41st) said Thursday.

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

Assimakopoulos presented his proposal to residents Wednesday night and got a mostly positive reception, Napolitano said.

"I was impressed," Napolitano said. "Here is a business owner who wants to work with the community."

A second community meeting will take place in the coming weeks once a formal list of restrictions on the store operations, including a limit on what hours it could be open and what types of liquor it can sell, is drafted, Napolitano said.

"I'm excited," Napolitano said. "This store will have pizzazz."

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; and liquor for sale for less than $6.99.

Assimakopoulos said he planned to sell specialty European wines, "high-end" bourbon and whiskey and 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, although Ada's Market and Deli sells alcohol.

Former Ald. Mary O'Connor (41st) rejected an application from the 7-Eleven in Norwood Park to sell alcohol in 2014, and another proposal to open a liquor store on Northwest Highway fell apart a year ago.

There is a ban on packaged goods liquor licenses in the strip mall at Northwest Highway and Newark Avenue, which was built in 2014 near the Norwood Park Metra station.

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 restaurants' 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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