New liquor store may replace Savoy liquor store in Portage Park; moratorium could be lifted
by BRIAN NADIG
The Savoy Food and Liquor store at 4138 N. Milwaukee Ave. could close later this summer so that the storefront can be remodeled for a new liquor store that plans to open there.
The owner of the proposed Portage Park Wine and Spirits plans to apply for a new packaged liquor license instead of seeking a transfer of Savoy’s license, which expires Aug. 31, said Alderman John Arena’s chief of staff Owen Brugh.
Savoy is located in an 87-year-old, two-story brick building at the northwest corner of Milwaukee and Warner avenues that has apartments on the second floor.
The site’s C1-1 zoning allows for the sale of packaged liquor, but the project would require the lifting of a moratorium on new packaged liquor licenses which Arena implemented in 2014 in nearly all commercial areas of the ward. The moratorium is designed to give the community more input in the opening of new liquor stores.
Moratoriums are typically implemented in two-block stretches, and the lifting of the moratorium for the area around the Savoy would have to remain in effect for at least 1 year. Existing liquor licenses for those businesses affected by a moratorium can be transferred to a new owner, but there are several restrictions.
Only one resident attended a community meeting on the project that Arena hosted on July 13. The new operator has other liquor stores in the city, Brugh said.