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Could Shake, Rattle And Read Become A Liquor Store?

 Scott Crestodina, owner of Independent Spirits, hopes to open his second liquor store at 4812 N. Broadway.
Scott Crestodina, owner of Independent Spirits, hopes to open his second liquor store at 4812 N. Broadway.
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Courtesy of Scott Crestodina

UPTOWN  — Shake, Rattle and Read could soon be the home to a high-end liquor store pending the lifting of a liquor moratorium.

Scott Crestodina, owner of Independent Spirits Inc. in Edgewater, hopes to open his second location at the vacant storefront at 4812 N. Broadway, but a liquor moratorium bans liquor licenses for business along Broadway from Lawrence Avenue to Argyle Street.

In order for Crestodina to realize his vision, part of the ban — which allows packaged good and over-the-counter liquor to be sold — would have to be lifted, a decision that relies heavily on community input. The ban would have to be lifted for at least a one-year period, said Dan Luna, chief of staff for Ald. Harry Osterman (48th).

There are "certain safeguards" before the ban can be lifted, including a required public notification and the need to win support of local alderman and the commander of the police district, Luna said at a community meeting Monday night.

Map of the liquor moratorium. [Courtesy of Uptown United]

In 2012, Crestodina presented hand-drawn plans for what Independent Spirits, at 5947 N. Broadway, and the resulting storefront looks exactly as it was drawn, Luna said, showing the crowd of about 18 residents the early illustrations.

"What he promised the community is what he gave the community," Luna said, adding that Crestodina was a "good tenant."

In 2015, Independent Spirits was named the best wine shop in Chicago by the Chicago Reader. In 2016, it was named the best liquor store by the Reader.

The store has yet to be named officially, but could be called "the Brandy Box" in homage to the Book Box, the original name of Shake, Rattle and Read, said Crestodina, who has been managing liquor stores for 16 years.

It wouldn't be identical, but would share some concepts with his original Edgewater location, he said.

"We don't really carry major brands or anything mass-produced; brands people are familiar with, we don't carry," he said, adding the store wouldn't carry small portions of liquor such as half-pints.

"The cheapest thing we carry is like $7 sake."

After the meeting, an unofficial vote was taken to be presented to the aldermen. Twelve residents were in favor of the plan, while two opposed and four abstained from voting.

"I think it's a pretty good idea, why not? There's nothing like a nice bottle of wine," said Joe Denofrio, who's lived in Uptown for 27 years. "I've seen a lot of changes: a wine shop is an improvement."

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