I am writing to invite you to attend a community meeting to review a proposal for a new packaged goods liquor license at 6812-16 N. Sheridan (just north of Pratt). The meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 28th,7:00 p.m., at the Ciao Bella Cafe, 6800 N. Sheridan (at Pratt).
The location currently is leased by another packaged goods store, Isam’s Food and Liquors (pictured on the right). The owners of the property decided not to renew Isam’s lease and instead divide the storefront in half, leasing one-half to an optical shop and the other half to a new packaged goods store.
The potential new packaged goods store owner, Pradeep Patel, currently owns Red Violin Wines and Spirits at 7405 N. Clark (at Rogers)(pictured below).
If Mr. Patel obtains a liquor license for the Sheridan Road location, he plans to open a store similar to Red Violin and name it Green Guitar Wines and Spirits. He plans remove the paper advertising signs from the windows, upgrade the inventory with higher-end wines and craft beers and eliminate some of the very cheap wines and liquor from the store inventory. He also plans to completely renovate the interior of the store in a fashion nearly identical to the interior of his Red Violin store (pictured below).
In order to operate at the new address, Mr. Patel must obtain a packaged goods liquor license from the City of Chicago. Before he can apply for the license, however, he must convince me to introduce an ordinance to lift a moratorium on new packaged goods licenses that currently exists in the area. The moratorium extends on both sides of Sheridan Road from Pratt to Lunt. If the City Council were to adopt an ordinance lifting the moratorium, it could not be re-imposed for one year.
Lifting a moratorium does not automatically entitle an applicant to a liquor license; it simply gives the applicant the right to apply for a license. He still must satisfy the City’s criteria for a liquor license and his application is subject to the approval of the City of Chicago’s Local Liquor Control Commissioner. The opinion of the local alderman and the community may influence the Commissioner’s decision, but the Commissioner retains final authority over whether the license will be issued.
The Liquor Control Commissioner may at his discretion require the applicant sign a legally binding “Liquor License Plan of Operation,” which places various conditions on the license. Any violation of the agreement may result in the imposition of a fine or a suspension or revocation of the license.
When the Commissioner granted Mr. Patel a license to operate Red Violin on Clark Street, Mr. Patel agreed, among other things, to take proactive steps to prevent loitering outside his store; refrain from selling cheap fortified wines, cheap half-pints of distilled liquor and malt liquor; refrain from selling products associated with illicit drug use; refrain from installing security gates, accordion style gates or metal grates and keep his windows free and clear of all signage, coolers, walls or other obstructions.
For a copy of the Red Violin agreement, click on the attachment below:
If the Liquor Control Commissioner is inclined to grant Mr. Patel his license application, I will ask the Commissioner to require Mr. Patel to enter into an agreement identical to the agreement he signed for Red Violin.
Since Red Violin opened last year, the City has received no complaints about Red Violin, nor has it issued any citations against the business.
I will make a final decision on whether to introduce an ordinance lifting the moratorium after receiving input from those who attend the community or send comments to my office.
I encourage you to attend the meeting to offer your opinions of the proposal. If you are unable to attend, please feel free to reply to this e-mail with your thoughts and suggestions. I also encourage you to visit Mr. Patel’s store at 7405 N. Clark to see for yourself the kind of business he says he will operate.