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Liquor Store Seeks To Open In Old Halsted Clothing Outlet

By Ted Cox | August 17, 2017 6:36am
 Merchants want to convert this women's clothing store into a liquor store at 2154 N. Halsted St.
Merchants want to convert this women's clothing store into a liquor store at 2154 N. Halsted St.
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DNAinfo/Ted Cox

DEPAUL — A proposed new liquor store on Halsted Street near Webster Avenue hoped to go before the Zoning Board of Appeals for approval this week, but public opinion was mixed Wednesday at a public meeting on the matter.

Bhupendra Patel hopes to open a small "boutique store" for alcohol in the former Calvin Tran women's clothing store at 2154 N. Halsted St.

The store would not sell kegs, for DePaul University students, or anything under $5, in order to squeeze out "transient people in the community," according to Pradeep Patel, who acted as spokesman for the new venture at a public meeting held by Ald. Michele Smith (27th) and the Sheffield Neighborhood Association in a nearby DePaul building Wednesday evening at 2247 N. Halsted.

Pradeep Patel vouched for his former employee as the owner of Miska's at 2353 N. Clark St. and Crown Liquors at 3425 N. Clark. Acting as spokesman at the public meeting, Pradeep Patel said Bhupendra Patel was seeking to strike out on his own with the Halsted storefront.

Hours would be 11 a.m.-10 or 11 p.m. weekdays, he said, open to midnight on weekends.

With rain falling, only about a dozen people showed up at the public meeting, and response was mixed.

"I don't think this fits in with the character of the community," local resident Blair Hughes said. "I don't think the community needs a liquor store."

"I'd rather have this than a 7-Eleven down the street," responded local resident Joe Clifford. "I think this would be good for the area."

Local resident Allan Mellis said, "Selling half-pints has always been a concern" for the surrounding community, and asked if they'd commit to not selling them.

"We'll have no problem complying with these requests," Patel said, including altering the store sign to meet standards set by the local landmark district.

Patel pledged that the store would meet any requirements required by the liquor license, which would follow a special-use permit to be granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals.

That permit is on the agenda for the board Friday, but Smith said Thursday she'd move to postpone it while weighing additional input from local residents.