Development sought at former Masonic Temple


A former Masonic temple at 4240 W. Irving Park Road that in recent years has been a church is being targeted for a new restaurant and brewery.

Alderman John Arena (45th) will hold a community meeting on the proposal at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 16, at Irving Park Baptist Church, 4401 W. Irving Park Road. The B3-1 zoning of the site allows a restaurant with a bar, but a "C" zoning designation for commercial uses is being sought to allow the brewery operation.

Korean Bethel Presbyterian Church occupies the four-story building, which was built in 1912 and which is for sale. A church representative said that the church is searching for a new location.

Plans reportedly call for the brewery operation to be located in the basement and for the restaurant to operate on the first floor of the 23,000-square-foot building, with a banquet hall and offices on the upper floors. The site includes an approximately 35-space parking lot.

Arena’s office said that he worked with state officials to resolve an issue that could have blocked the project.

The site is next to a church, the Harvest Christian Center, 4020 N. Tripp Ave., and under state law, a liquor license cannot be issued to an establishment located within 100 feet of a church. However, the Illinois General Assembly passed legislation that waives that requirement after the church did not object to the proposed use.