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Downtown Norwood Park's Booze Ban To Be Lifted For Fancy Liquor Store

By Heather Cherone | February 15, 2016 5:49am
 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) said he will lift a ban on liquor stores in downtown Norwood Park.

The decision — which must be ratified by the city's liquor commissioner — will allow Bill Assimakopoulos, to open a "high-end" wine and spirits store at 6054-56 N. Northwest Highway.

"It is going to be awesome," Napolitano said. "We're excited for this store to open."

Assimakopoulos agreed to a host of legally binding restrictions designed to combat concerns that the store would create a nuisance in downtown Norwood Park, including closing at 10 p.m. during the week and 11 p.m. on weekends, Napolitano said.

The agreement also gives Napolitano the right to order the store to close at 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays at his discretion, according to the restrictions.

The store would also be prevented from selling liquor for less than $5.99 as well as all malt beverages and those advertised as offering a high alcohol content at a low price, including fortified wine, according to the restrictions.

In addition, the store must have cameras recording its exterior 24 hours a day, and follow all city ordinances regarding signs, litter, lighting and require proper identification for those buying alcohol, according to the restrictions.

Assimakopoulos, who owns The Vineyards near Touhy and Lincoln avenues, wants to move his store to Norwood Park after Binny's Beverage Depot announced plans to open nearby in Lincolnwood.

Napolitano said he would encourage Assimakopoulos to work with the owners of Ada's Market and Deli, the only other store to sell alcohol in downtown Norwood Park.

Assimakopoulos said he plans 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 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 liquor.

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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