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No Booze For Wrigley Starbucks — But That's Not Necessarily By Choice

By Ariel Cheung | March 23, 2016 4:28pm
 Starbucks will open a new Wrigleyville cafe at 3551 N. Sheffield Ave.
Starbucks will open a new Wrigleyville cafe at 3551 N. Sheffield Ave.
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DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung

WRIGLEYVILLE — People had two questions about Wrigleyville's new Starbucks: Will it be big and will there be booze?

The answer to both: No.

Starbucks is "not considering Wrigleyville for the Evenings menu at this time," a spokesperson said Wednesday. The cafe will only occupy the first floor of the two-story building, 3551 N. Sheffield Ave.

As it turns out, the new Starbucks couldn't have applied for a liquor license this year if it wanted to. There's a ban on booze after its former occupant had its license revoked.

O'Malley's Liquor Kitchen had its state liquor license revoked Feb. 10, said Mika Stambaugh, spokeswoman for city Business Affairs and Consumer Protection. The city yanked its license as a result and charged the business with failure to pay debts to the city, Stambaugh said.

No new liquor license can be applied for at the location until 2017, unless approved by the liquor commissioner. The decision can be appealed, Stambaugh said.

The nearest Starbucks serving alcohol is at Sheffield and Diversey avenues on the south edge of Lakeview. There are 16 total in Chicago.

The coffee shop giant introduced the Starbucks Evenings concept in 2010. Chicago got its first Starbucks Evenings stores in 2012. Mostly Downtown, the late-night menus feature wine, craft beer and dishes like truffle mac 'n' cheese, flat breads and bacon-wrapped dates.

It's possible a Wrigley Field crowd would overwhelm a Starbucks Evenings store, which isn't meant to feel like a sports bar.

"The Evenings menu is truly for our customers who start their day at Starbucks and would like to end their day at Starbucks with a small plate, craft beer or wine — without the traditional bar environment," a Starbucks spokeswoman said last year.

In this file photo, crews work on the interior of a new Wrigleyville Starbucks at 3551 N. Sheffield Ave. on Tuesday, March 22, 2016. [DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]

Starbucks began renovation at the new Wrigley location in February, one month after closing a block west at 1023 W. Addison St. The old location will be demolished to make way for the Addison & Clark mixed-use development.

Neighbors immediately wanted to know whether alcohol would be sold in the longtime home to sports bars like O'Malley's Liquor Kitchen, Hi-Tops and Harry Caray's Tavern.

"If they have a liquor license, this will be a gold mine for Starbucks," wrote Neighborhood Square user DaBearsNCubs. "If they set up their outdoor patio, then you will have tons of people watching."


After all, if two things go together, it's Wrigleyville and beer.


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