WEST LOOP — A proposed liquor and convenience store in the West Loop is on hold after pushback from the community about lifting a liquor sales moratorium.
Lakeside Food Wine and Spirits is a liquor and convenience store with locations in Buena Park and Lincoln Park. The store’s owner, Narendra B. Patel, wants to open a location at 236 S. Racine Ave. To do so, the alderman would need to lift a liquor moratorium there — but neighbors have spoken out against that.
Most of the concerns raised by residents at a recent community meeting were “traditional,” Ald. Jason Ervin (28th) said. They related primarily to the proposed liquor store being close to an early childhood center and a Mercy Home for Boys and Girls.
Residents also asked for clarity on Patel’s business plan based on his other locations, Ervin said.
“There were definitely some unanswered questions and some things that the store and business owner will have to address to get over the hump with the community,” Ervin said.
A representative from The Learning Experience, the early childhood center, and May Toy, vice president of the Neighbors of West Loop, echoed that sentiment.
“Operationally, there isn’t a parking lot, so there are concerns about where people will be parking to pick up liquor and how close that will be to children and a day care,” Toy said.
The representative from The Learning Experience said most of the concerns she heard were from parents worried about who a liquor store could bring to an area where children often walk to school.
The community’s concerns have been presented to Patel, who said he is still deciding whether to move forward with the proposal.
“It’s totally up to him to satisfy the residents in the area before moving forward,” Ervin said. “The business has to have community support in order, No. 1, to exist, and No. 2, in order for us to advance legislation to lift the [liquor sales] moratorium.”
Ervin said that there won’t be another community meeting until he receives confirmation from Patel or his lawyers they are willing to adjust their business plan to address community concerns.
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