Liquor license issued to local 7-Eleven


A liquor license was issued to the 7-Eleven store at 4859 N. Milwaukee Ave. after company officials agreed to several restrictions, while the owner of a planned food and liquor store at 4701 N. Milwaukee Ave. is appealing the denial of its license.

The 7-Eleven store had a packaged goods liquor license until seven months ago, when it was required to apply for a new license after the store changed from being a franchise to being corporate owned. The Local Liquor Control Commission denied the application because of concerns that the sale of liquor at the store would contribute to public drinking problems near the Jefferson Park CTA terminal, 4917 N. Milwaukee Ave.

The commission reversed its ruling after 7-Eleven agreed to a plan of operation which Alderman John Arena (45th) and his staff negotiated with the company. The restrictions include a ban on the sale of half pints of liquor and of single-serving containers of beer, wine and malt liquor.

In addition, liquor which retails for less than $6.99 cannot be sold, and all liquor products must be kept in a cooler that has an electronic locking device which prevents customers from entering at times when the sale of alcohol is not permitted.

The sale of alcohol at the store is restricted to the hours of 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturdays. Liquor licenses in Chicago typically allow stores to begin selling alcohol as early as 7 a.m. and until 2 a.m. on most days.

Arena’s chief of staff Owen Brugh said that the restrictions should address concerns about public drinking near the store and that the store would be subject to penalties if the agreement is not followed. "These are written into the license," Brugh said. "That’s why we like these plans of operation. It gives a lot of teeth into making sure that they comply."

The License Appeal Commission has scheduled hearings at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, and at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, on the appeal of the denial of an application for a liquor license for Milwaukee’s Food and Liquor, which is planning to open in a former carpet store near Milwaukee and Leland avenues. The hearings will be held in at the Daley Center, 50 W. Washington St.

The liquor commission stated in its ruling that it denied the application because of a high concentration of liquor stores in the area and the "deleterious impact issues" raised by residents. The issues included litter, vagrancy, noise, increased traffic to the area and public intoxication.
The application also was denied because the applicant did not pass food and consumer protection inspections, according to the commission.

Brugh said that Arena opposes the application because of the proximity of the store to residences and to Wilson Park, 4630 N. Milwaukee Ave. He said that the planned hours for the sale of alcohol are from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. weekdays are too long.

The applicant has said that liquor products would take up 20 percent of the store’s space, according to Brugh. Little was known about the store until after the commission’s ruling because the applicant waited several months to contact the alderman, Brugh said.