Skip to contents
Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

Too Much Booze On Division Street? Ban On Sale Of Alcohol Likely Returning To Wicker Park Strip

An exception to the longstanding packaged goods ban was granted for Foxtrot, which opened over the summer.

Foxtrot, Division Street Liquors and Rite Liquors all offer beer and wine to go along the 1600-1700 block of Division Street, in addition to nearby CVS.
Alisa Hauser/Block Club Chicago
  • Credibility:

This story was updated on Thursday, Nov. 8. 

WICKER PARK —  A liquor ban that was briefly lifted on Division Street is slated to come back, which means Target won’t be able to sell booze at its Wicker Park location.

Ald. Joe Moreno (1st) plans to put a longstanding packaged goods liquor ban on a three-block stretch of Division Street back into place after lifting it so Foxtrot could join the corridor.

“Foxtrot provides a unique and local option. After they opened, we had enough options for packaged goods liquor in the area,” Moreno told Block Club last week.

Introduced to the Committee on License and Consumer Protection last Wednesday, the ordinance (read it here) sponsored by Moreno seeks to ban any additional packaged good liquor licenses on Division Street between Milwaukee Avenue and Wood Street. On Thursday, the ordinance was held in committee. 

“The City Council finds that the areas described in Section 2 of this ordinance are adversely affected by the over-concentration of businesses licensed to sell alcoholic liquor within and near the areas,” the ordinance says. 

Credit: Google Maps
The packaged good ban impacts three blocks of Division between Milwaukee and Wood.

Offering beer, liquor and wine to-go, as well as a small selection of grocery items and a cafe, Foxtrot, 1722 W. Division St., opened over the summer. To pave the way for Foxtrot, the City Council voted to lift a liquor moratorium preventing alcohol sales on the street in September of 2017. 

The ban, which still needs full City Council approval, means that other nearby stores such as the new “small format” Target at 1664 W. Division St. will not be able to add beer or liquor to its shelves.

In addition to Foxtrot, Division Street Liquors, 1759 W. Division St. and Rite Liquors, 1649 W. Division St., both offer beer and wine to go. Back in 2012, a different packaged goods ban for Ashland Avenue was lifted so CVS could sell alcohol at 1200 N. Ashland Ave. CVS anchors the northwest corner of Division and Ashland. 

Now, as Moreno promised to community groups Wicker Park Committee and the East Village Association when he sought and obtained their blessing to lift the ban for Foxtrot, the ban will be put back in place.

Paul Dickman, chairman of the Wicker Park Committees’s Preservation and Development subcommittee, said on Monday that he’s “happy to hear” the packaged goods liquor ban will be put back in place.

“I’m glad we were able to accommodate these companies. When it was lifted for Foxtrot, it was a level of control we thought we would never get back,” Dickman said. 

Dickman said package goods moratoriums were put in place decades ago and were already in full force when he moved to Wicker Park in the early 1980s.

On a personal level, and not speaking on behalf of the Wicker Park Committee, Dickman said moratoriums “are not necessarily a good thing.”

“Moratoriums were kind of a compromise… people [years ago] were up in arms over liquor stores and the stores were everywhere. [Moratoriums] were a way to not give out new licenses,” Dickman said.