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Dill Pickle's Dream of Huge New Location Still Alive But Delayed Until 2017

By Paul Biasco | July 22, 2016 5:42am | Updated on July 22, 2016 1:14pm

LOGAN SQUARE — The Dill Pickle food co-op's plans to move into a new, much larger home on Milwaukee Avenue have been delayed.

The food co-op, which has been growing quickly since its birth in 2005, had originally hoped to move into its new location in the early spring of this year.

The plans to move into the new location at 2746 N. Milwaukee Ave. are still on track, but it's likely the co-op that will be more than six times the size of the current location won't open until early 2017.

"That's what we wanted," said Kevin Monahan, president of the co-op's board of directors. "When you set out on a journey you say that's the plan I want. You have to be flexible."

The new $2.5 million, 10,000-square-foot-location next to the Spaulding entrance of the Logan Square Blue Line stop is being funded largely by the co-op's own members.

The co-op had planned to raise $1 million in "owner loans" from its owners, and is still trying to come up with that money.

As of this month Dill Pickle had raised about $650,000.

The co-op needs to raise an additional $360,000 this summer to begin construction to stay on track for the 2017 opening.

"I think it always was on our radar from the very beginning of the capital campaign that we had a very aggressive timeline and actually a pretty realistic total amount," Monahan said.

Other food co-ops in Illinois who have turned to their owners to provide loans for expansion have raised similar totals, according to Monahan.

The owners of Common Ground in Champaign raised $1 million, and the owners of Sugar Beet in Oak Park raised $800,000, he said.

The additional funding to pay for the $2.5 million shop will come from commercial lending that is already lined up.

The project is currently in the process of getting the necessary permits, and all the engineers and store designers are on board.

Dill Pickle's expansion will mean lower food prices and a vastly larger selection of products that will include beer and wine, a deli and a community room.

Since the expansion was announced, the co-op has had about 225 new people become owners, Monahan said.

Dill Pickle expects that number to jump once the new location opens.

"We need food co-ops in the city," Monahan said. "The city has not had much of a history of good food co-ops. We need to make this happen. We need to build this store.”

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