The historic firehouse is located at 4835 N. Lipps Ave. Credit: Courtesy of Lake Effect Brewing

JEFFERSON PARK — Lake Effect Brewing Company cleared another hurdle toward opening its Northwest Side brewpub this week when the City Council reversed a liquor ban impacting the business.

The council approved an ordinance Wednesday to allow liquor sales on portions of North Lipps Avenue.

Lake Effect Brewing’s vision to take over the historical Jefferson Park firehouse at 4841 N. Lipps Ave. has been years in the making. The firehouse was built in 1906 but has long sat vacant. City Council agreed to sell the firehouse to developer Ambrosia Homes for $1 earlier this year. Ambrosia Homes has worked with the brewery since 2016.

The firehouse should be open by next summer, brewery owner Clint Bautz previously told Block Club.

Ald. Jim Gardiner (45th), who introduced the ordinance to cancel the liquor moratorium, said earlier this week the business will be “advantageous to the community.”

The Chicago firehouse at 4841 N. Lipps Ave. in Jefferson Park.

Most recently, Bautz announced another local business, North Branch Fried Chicken at 5481 N. Northwest Highway, will head up the brewpub’s kitchen.

The partnership will bring beer, barbecue, fried chicken and burgers together under one roof for a “fun and creative and delicious collaboration,” Bautz said.“It’s two businesses working [and] growing together, and we are both Northwest Siders. We can’t wait to get open.”

An official name for the brewery is being finalized. For now, he’s calling it the Lake Effect firehouse.

Along with the brewery on the first floor, nine rental loft apartments are planned for the upper levels.

Ambrosia President Tim Pomaville said they will host a grand opening at the completion of the $2.4 million project.

“When we get to the point for a grand opening, hopefully the pandemic will be over and we’re planning to have a massive party for the entire neighborhood,” Pomaville said.


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