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Liquor Ban On Division Street In Wicker Park Gets Approved By City Committee

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
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CITY HALL — A packaged goods liquor ban on Division Street in Wicker Park cleared a City Council committee Wednesday, setting the stage for the city’s aldermen to act on it next week.

Ald. Joe Moreno (1st) wants to return the 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 earlier this year.

His plan was unanimously approved by the Committee on License and Consumer Protection 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.

The full City Council is scheduled to vote on it next Wednesday.

“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 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.